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Arab Studies Quarterly – December 2013

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ASQ 35.4

December 2013

This issue of ASQ includes four articles and several book reviews.


The first article, “The Palestinian Spring That Was Not…”deals with the current role of Palestinian youth in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The author, Jacob Høigilt, compares the role of the youth shortly before the first and second Intifadas with the current period. The conclusion is that the youth presents a challenge to the policies of both Fatah and Hamas, despite the constraints imposed on them by those two organizations and the Palestinian National Authority.

The focus of the other three articles is literary.  Salam Mir’s “Political Engagement: The Palestinian Confessional Genre,” interrogates Fadwa Tuqan’s personal struggles and achievements and argues that they “signify the plight of the Palestinian people in the twentieth century.” Tuqan’s voice constructed an alternative history challenging patriarchy in Palestinian society.


Yaseen Kittani writes about “Edward Al-Kharrat, A Pioneer of Innovative Narrative Prose Writing: Beginning.” His focus is on Kharrat’s short stories in the early stages of his career. He then considers how Kharrat moved away from the traditional focus on to existentialist and metaphysical issues, which, together with his use of metaphor, made his work “attain a nearly poetic character.”

Waed Athamneh’s “The Poetic Voices of Ahmad Abd Al-Mu’ti Hijazi: 1950-2011,” shows the relationship between his poetry and political events in the Arab world. Over his career, Hijazi spoke with multiple conflicting voices.

Jacqueline Ismael’s review of Ghada Talhami’s Historical Dictionary of  Women in the Middle East and North Africa,” speaks to the timeliness of this work.

Shiraz Dossa’s review of Kai Hafez’s  “Radicalism and Political Reform in the Islamic and Western Worlds” in which Hafez counters Western attacks against Islam. While doing so, however, Dossa points out that even Hafez himself slips into stereotypical terms such as “Middle East anti-Semitism,” which make no sense.

Two other book reviews fall within the Books-In-Brief section. The first, is Galal Amin’s “Whatever Happened to the Egyptian Revolution?” The book displays faith in the Egyptian people. The book gives the impression that the author had predicted the June 30, 2013 events.

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