Bad Girls of the Arab World
Edited by Nadia Yaqub and Rula Quawas University of Texas Press, 2017 Library of Congress HQ1784.B33 2017 | Dewey Decimal 305.409174927
Women’s transgressive behaviors and perspectives are challenging societal norms in the Arab world, giving rise to anxiety and public debate. Simultaneously, however, other Arab women are unwillingly finding themselves labeled “bad” as authority figures attempt to redirect scrutiny from serious social ills such as patriarchy and economic exploitation, or as they impose new restrictions on women’s behavior in response to uncertainty and change in society. Bad Girls of the Arab World elucidates how both intentional and unintentional transgressions make manifest the social and cultural constructs that define proper and improper behavior, as well as the social and political policing of gender, racial, and class divisions.
The works collected here address the experiences of women from a range of ages, classes, and educational backgrounds who live in the Arab world and beyond. They include short pieces in which the women themselves reflect on their experiences with transgression; academic articles about performance, representation, activism, history, and social conditions; an artistic intervention; and afterwords by the acclaimed novelists Laila al-Atrash and Miral al-Tahawy. The book demonstrates that women’s transgression is both an agent and a symptom of change, a site of both resistance and repression. Showing how transnational forces such as media discourses, mobility and confinement, globalization, and neoliberalism, as well as the legacy of colonialism, shape women’s badness, Bad Girls of the Arab World offers a rich portrait of women’s varied experiences at the boundaries of propriety in the twenty-first century.
Palestinian cinema arose during the political cinema movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s, yet it was unique as an institutionalized, though modest, film effort within the national liberation campaign of a stateless people. Filmmakers working within the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and through other channels filmed the revolution as it unfolded, including the Israeli bombings of Palestinian refugee camps, the Jordanian and Lebanese civil wars, and Palestinian life under Israeli occupation, attempting to create a cinematic language consonant with the revolution and its needs. They experimented with form both to make effective use of limited material and to process violent events and loss as a means of sustaining active engagement in the Palestinian political project.
Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution presents an in-depth study of films made between 1968 and 1982, the filmmakers and their practices, the political and cultural contexts in which the films were created and seen, and their afterlives among Palestinian refugees and young filmmakers in the twenty-first century. Nadia Yaqub discusses how early Palestinian cinema operated within emerging public-sector cinema industries in the Arab world, as well as through coproductions and solidarity networks. Her findings aid in understanding the development of alternative cinema in the Arab world. Yaqub also demonstrates that Palestinian filmmaking, as a cinema movement created and sustained under conditions of extraordinary precarity, offers important lessons on the nature and possibilities of political filmmaking more generally.