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    Hebatullah Issa

    CREATED BY Hebatullah I

    PhD Proposal Summary #cliffnotes #overview #nothappeninganytimesoon

    Below is a summary of one of the many PhD proposals I submitted to various universities internationally. While I was able to get into more than 15 very competitive unis, I couldn’t secure even the slightest amount of funding from any of them. It’s been three years now and I don’t seem to be any closer to getting that funding. I have contemplated switching my topic and applying again, but I may have to hold off on it since my topic being accepted hasn’t been of issue, rather funding has been my main issue. However, enough time has passed that parts of my research are irrelevant and other parts are no longer original since it has been encompassed in other researcher’s findings. The more time that goes by, the less my specific lens in regards to the topic is original or new. And therein lies the dilemma.

    Anyways, here is a snapshot of one of my proposals. My other proposals are variations of the same topic. As you may know, every university has different proposal requirements. Some want a 15 page proposal, some want a 5 page proposal. Others want a full literature review, while others look down on what they deem “name dropping.” Here is just one of the many variations of proposals I have saved.

    Enjoy…

    Project Overview

    Research Title: Transnational Contemporary Palestinian Music: Transnational Palestinian Identity Formation, Palestinian Experience and its Role in Israeli Affairs

    Palestinian contemporary music, particularly Palestinian hip-hop, which is very popular amongst Palestinian youth, acts as a medium for the Palestinian experience. Palestinian musicians voice their experiences and identity through their lyrics and this music acts as a medium to explore transnational Palestinian identity formation in the US and UK, seeing as this music is consumed globally by the Palestinian diaspora. [1] This research intends to study the role of Palestinian contemporary music in formulating a transnational Palestinian identity, how this transnational identity creates a new vision of Palestinian citizenship or activism and how this transnational identity and Palestinian citizenship influences Israel’s international relations.

    Project Scope

    The case study for this research is contemporary Palestinian music and its role in identity expression and formation, drawing a parallel between Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities concept that print capitalism brought the rise of the nationalism,[2] in turn globalisation’s role in transnational music distribution brought the rise of a transnational Palestinian identity. This research will assess in detail how this identity formed and what role this identity plays in their political activism concerning Israeli domestic and foreign relations. This will be achieved by researching the Palestinian community’s interactions with music and political opportunity structures in their home country’s, as well as Israel.

    The members of DAM, a prominent Arab hip-hop group, come from Al-Lid, Israel, although they very strongly identify themselves as Palestinian in their lyrics. DAMs closing lyrics to their song, Stranger in My Country, illustrate their multi-layered identity. And our Arabian roots are still strong. But still our Arabian brothers are calling us renegades. No. We never sold our country. The occupation has written our destiny. Which is, that the whole world till today is treating us as Israelis. And Israel till tomorrow will treat us as Palestinians. I’m a stranger in my own country.” [3]

    The lyrics of DAMs, Stranger in my Country, express feelings felt by Palestinian citizens of Israel. DAMs lyrics act as a form of communication to Palestinians living in other regions, serving as a form of news to these regions that otherwise may be unaware of what Palestinians in Israel experience. This leaves the Palestinian listeners with their own experiences that form their identity, in addition to the connection they have formed with other Palestinian experiences that influence their experience hereon in, and take part in shaping their identity. This hybrid identity then influences the state of Palestinian citizenship, affecting actions taken by Palestinians, political affiliations and civic duties, creating a transnational Palestinian citizenship.

    Project Empirical and Methodological Overview

    This project will assess why and how the Palestinian diaspora interacts with contemporary Palestinian music, embracing Palestinian identity or eschewing the community they live in as a form of political participation by using a postmodernist theory of methodology,[4] linking the use of music with political activism amongst Palestinians in the diaspora.[5] It will focus on organisational development of politically active groups on the macro, meso and micro levels, as well as diaspora Palestinian political inspirations found in Palestinian contemporary music. This project will garner empirical data through interviews with Palestinian music listeners and political activists, in order to build a comprehensive overview of how Palestinian lyrics and music can influence its listeners to form a transnational community that acts in benefit of a nation it does not live in. I also plan to translate and analyze Palestinian song lyrics and compare these lyrics to news reports that report socio-political circumstances of Palestinians. Attending conferences or concerts in which Palestinian musicians perform will give me better access to interview Palestinian contemporary music listeners. These interviews plan to get a better understanding of how Palestinians define their experiences, what constitutes a Palestinian identity, how connected they are to Palestinians in different regions, how they view Palestinian hip-hop and contemporary Palestinian music, as well as get a better idea of their political influences.

    From the data collected, I will then seek to build a wider theoretical framework to analyse the Palestinian diaspora’s formulation of identity, how this identity is measured and the influence this identity has on Israeli foreign and domestic decision making. This research will build on the work of Usama Kahf, who researched Palestinian hip-hop and identity in Israel and its relation to the Palestinian political struggle;[6] Andy Bennett’s research that explored youth consumption of music and how this music is used to define the self;[7] Amal Jamal, who researched media’s use in cultural resistance, as well as Israeli media policies towards Palestinians;[8] and Bakari Kitwana’s research on rap music’s role in cultural movement and political power.[9]

    A challenge arises as Palestinian hip-hop and other forms of contemporary Palestinian music is male dominatedHow does this dynamic play into identity formation amongst Palestinian women and does it have any impact on the political activism of Palestinian men or women?

    Timeline

    This research is expected to take up to three years as follows:

    • September 2015 January 2016Preliminary research, survey of literature and interpretive models.
    • February 2016 December 2016 Fieldwork, interviews and data collection.
    • January 2017 March 2017 Collate data and assess an interpretive model.
    • April 2017 September 2017 Development and presentation of preliminary findings and analysis.
    • October 2017 January 2018 First draft.
    • February 2018 October 2018 Final write up.

    Project Aims and Objectives

    This study will act as a vehicle case study for critiquing current research approaches to identity formation through music and its influence on international relations. It will be designed to challenge the paradigm that views transnational musical identity formation as insignificant in the face of international relations. This research is important because it fills existing empirical and theoretical gaps. Empirically, there is very little research on contemporary music’s role on the formulation of a transnational identity that leads to a politically active community that is capable of enacting change on an international level. There is also limited understanding of the Palestinian diaspora’s political aspirations and even less understanding of Israel’s interaction with Palestinian musical messages. This research looks to conduct thorough empirical research, particularly through interviews, observational data collection, quantitative monitoring of Palestinian music consumption amongst the diaspora. It will also involve an in depth analysis of contemporary Palestinian music’s lyrics, the messages intended in the music, as well as researching the connection between Israeli political relations and music.

    Theoretically, this research will explore the limitations set forth by not incorporating an interdisciplinary approach to the subject of transnational musical identity’s influence on international relations and political activism. This research will utilise data to create an extended postmodernist framework to assess motivations for political activism in the diaspora and how much of that political activism is due to their Palestinian identity that was formed in part by Palestinian contemporary music.

    Reasons for the Research

    Recent social-political movements, such as the divestment campaigns led by Palestinian activists in the diaspora, and these movements links to transnational Palestinian identity, demonstrates the needs to understand the influence of transnational Palestinian music on this community. This research serves the purpose of better defining the Palestinian identity and what is means to be Palestinian,[10] as well as how contemporary Palestinian music has influenced this process. Once a better understanding of Palestinian identity is established, a better understanding of their experiences, their needs, desires, hopes and political aspirations as a collective can be recognised. As Palestinian youth become more influential in their societies, their shared transnational experiences and identity will shed insight onto the socio-political future of Palestinians and Israelis.    

    Works Cited

    1. P. Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, (Columbia University Press, 1996 ).

    2. Bennett, Andy. Popular Music and Youth Culture: Music, Identity, and Place. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2000. Print.

    3. DAM. Stranger in My Own Country. 2007. MP3.

    4. Keri E. Iyall Smith and Patricia Leavy (eds.), Hybrid Identities,  (Haymarket Books 2009), 267.

    5. Jamal, Amaney and Nadine Naber, Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects , (Syracuse University Press, 2008).

    6. Kahf, Usama. “Arabic Hip-Hop: Claims of Authenticity and Identity of a New Genre.”That’s the Joint!: The Hip-hop Studies Reader. By Murray Forman and Mark Anthony. Neal. New York: Routledge, 2012. N. pag. Print.

    7. Bennett, Andy. Popular Music and Youth Culture: Music, Identity, and Place. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2000. Print.

    8. Jamal, Amal. The Arab Public Sphere in Israel: Media Space and Cultural Resistance. P. 23-24, Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2009. Print.

    9. Kitwana, Bakari. That’s the Joint!: The Hip-hop Studies Reader. Ed. Mark Anthony. Neal and Murray Forman. New York: Routledge, 2012. N. pag. Print.

    10. Darcy Zabel, Arabs in the Americas: Interdisciplinary Essays on the Arab Diaspora, (Peter Lang Publishing, 2006), 35-39.

    40 Reasons You Should Hire Me

    Hello, I’m Heba. I have sent you this link because I REALLY want to work at your organization because I think your company is pretty awesome– I wouldn’t have sent this link to you otherwise. Below, you will find a list of the reasons I would make a great employee and creative partner. I hope by the end of this post you will learn more about me and give me a chance.

    Here it goes:

    1. I have a BA in Journalism from Penn State, an MA from Dartmouth College in Liberal Studies and an MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter.

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    2. I’m a fast learner.

    635920369314243634-1808424565_harvard elleI’m very much a hands on learner and I hit the ground running. As well as learning quickly, I’m always looking and finding ways to make work tasks more time efficient.

    3. I’m dedicated and focused.

    1n6sc.gifOnce I set my mind on a goal, I put my all into achieving it. In 2006, after a mere month of fundraising, I was able to raise almost $1 million in medical supplies for war torn regions. How many other people can say that?

    4. I have strong writing and editing skills.

    Cp8gJw8I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In addition to my BA in Journalism, in which I had a 3.67 GPA in my major, I had a focus in Creative Writing during my first MA at Dartmouth College.

    5. I’m willing to move.

    giphy (2)I have lived in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Switzerland, the U.K., Jordan, Palestine and Israel. I’m a professional at packing and moving. I’m more than willing to move for the right opportunity.

    6. I can roll with the punches.

    post-23206-be-water-my-friend-bruce-lee-g-nhkfI consider myself a perfectionist, but I understand that things can’t be perfect all the time. Sometimes, you have to do the best you can with what you have. I can handle all sorts of circumstances that come my way. Kind of like when I can’t find Collection or Gabrini eyeliner anywhere and I have to make due with Almay.

    7. I’m organized.

    Label Makers Can Definitely Help You Get Your Documents OrganizedReally, I am. I even won an MVP award from my time working at the GAP because I was the most organized employee.

    8. I can stay calm in a crisis.

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    Accidents happen and sometimes they’re unavoidable. Someone misses a deadline, a package wasn’t delivered on time, products break, people get hurt– Life happens. Working with kids between the ages of 5-17 has taught me to stay calm in all sorts of crazy scenarios. And if you’ve ever worked with kids, you know how crazy things can get.

    9. I love to laugh.

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    Laughing and making others laugh is a great talent of mine. I’m not signing up for any open mic nights or doing any stand-up comedy acts, but I can find the funny in the ordinary.

    10. I like to read.

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    In elementary school, I set the record for the most books read during National Reading Month. You can always find me with a book in hand or an article on screen.

    11. I live online and stay on top of all the new trends.

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    Most of my day is spent online digging through the mountains of information, videos, photos and such. I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing and am always the first one of my friends to identify viral material and trends.

    12. The world inspires me.

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    Everywhere I look, everyone I see, inspires me in some sort of way. Everyone I meet and encounter leaves a mark on me and inspires me to make the world a better place.

    13. I’m well-versed in social media.

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    Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, Pinterest– I love it all.

    14. I’m a realistic optimist.

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    I try to see the best in everyone and in every situation, but my expectations are always realistic. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    15. I can work with a team, as well as on my own.

    635925653462378461-1036772743_hsm gif

    Being a journalist, I’ve learned to work as part of a team. Especially when working as an editor, much of the position is dependent on working with others. Working in groups is great because everyone brings a different perspective to the project at hand. But, I have also been a teacher and have had to take responsibility for creating curriculums all on my own. Working on my own is also great because I get to see how far I can push myself.

    16. I have experience managing volunteers.

    x3ip08

    Remember that huge fundraiser I talked about earlier? Well, I had recruited and managed the efforts of more than 50 volunteers in under a week’s time. I was responsible for training the volunteers, managing their schedules, communicating their needs and supervising their delegated responsibilities.

    17. I’m an email wizard.

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    Any of my former students can tell you that I respond to emails as soon as I possibly can, sometimes within minutes.

    18. I’m creative.

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    I dabble in the arts and always have new and innovative ideas running through my head.

    19. I have lots of interests.

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    I like fashion, desserts, poems, coffee, bright colors, food, photography, art, literature, movies, music, naps, decorating, calligraphy, libraries and spending time with my friends.

    20. I’m great at conflict resolution.

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    I’m an American-Palestinian-Arab-Muslim-woman with Israeli citizenship. If that doesn’t make me an expert problem solver, I don’t know what does.

    21. I’m good at stuff.

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    I’m a good listener and a good friend. Some other things I’m good at include, but are not limited to: eyeliner application, fashion styling, tea brewing and reality check administrating. I’m also a pretty great actress in life more so than in art.

    22. I have experience writing blogs, fiction, nonfiction, research papers, listicles, essays, executive reports, newsletters and more.

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    I can do it all because I have done it all. Writing, of all sorts, is what I do and it is what makes me happy.

    23. I’m confident in my abilities to speak and relate to different types of communicators.

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    Not everyone communicates in the same way. I have learned to adjust my tone, vocabulary and methods to fit the person I am speaking to.

    24. I’m proficient in Word and other software.

    Word-Up-Music-Video-little-mix-36863975-500-180.gif

    Word, Adobe, ProTools, PCs, Macs, FinalCut and so much more.

    25. I’m pretty good at evaluating situations.

    situation-gif

    I’ve always been good at reading a situation. I’m pretty observant and I can usually tell when someone is sad, happy, irritated, excited or any other range of emotion.

    26. My creative writing pieces have been published in several magazines.

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    You can check out my published writing by clicking on the Portfolio link at the top of the page.

    27. I’m always looking to improve.

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    Whether it’s getting a new haircut or trying to learn a new language, I’m always trying to improve myself, both inside and out.

    28. I can dish it and I can take it… In a respectful manner, of course. Tumblr_lp0rbgfnEg1qfal67o1_r1_250.gif

    As a writer, criticism can be tough. I put my heart and soul into my work and I know how disheartening harsh criticism can be. I’ve grown a thick skin over the years and can take criticism pretty well. I believe that criticism should always be constructive and when I give constructive criticism to an employee, I am always respectful and appreciative for their hard work. Constructive criticism should always help the other person improve their work and boost their self-confidence.

    29. I take pride in my work.

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    But just the right amount of pride. I’m not cocky, I promise.

    30. I want to plant some roots.

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    I’ve moved around a lot and I’ve had a lot of different type of jobs. Now, I’m ready to settle down and really grow within a company.

    31. I’m a coordination queen.

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    That goes for both my outfits and my workload. I’m all about the time management skills.

    32. I’m passionate about human rights, education, social justice, prison reform, women’s health, politics and life.

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    33. I’m always prepared.

    game_of_thrones

    I watch a lot of scary movies. As a result, I’m now prepared for any and all scenarios, at all times. If the zombie apocalypse ever happens, come with me because I have a plan.

    34. I like to bake.

    Baking-cookies_1641

    I love baking and all things sweet. I also believe that sharing is caring, so, if you hire me you will be sure to have a taste of the sweet life.

    35. I smell nice.

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    I wear perfume even when I don’t leave the house, because I deserve to smell nice. I’m also super hygienic and carry around hand-sanitizer that doubles as lotion. It’s kind of my thing.

    36. I love animals.

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    Well, most animals. I have a fear of geese and swans, but other than that, I love animals. One of my dreams is to open up an animal sanctuary so I can love and hang out with my animal friends all day.

    37. I’m a feminist.

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    I believe everyone should be a feminist and we should all be working towards equality and justice for women.

    38. I make 11:11 wishes for good measure.

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    It can’t hurt, right? I’ll make a wish for you too.

    39. My life is a meme.

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    Anyone who knows me, knows that if there is a one in a million chance of something strange happening to someone, it’s going to be me.  And most days people get a kick out of it. Me included.

    40. I want to work and have fun doing it.

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    I want my work to be meaningful and I want to enjoy doing it. I’m not looking to clock in and clock out. I want to make a difference and improve people’s lives. I may not be able to change the world, but I certainly can change a tiny corner of it– even if it is one person.

    It’s like they [Confucius] say: Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.

    Middle East Defined

    As noted by Rashid Khalidi, the term “Middle East” has become a source of contention and is seen as an unsatisfactory term to describe the region we now know as the Middle East and North Africa. Khalidi is correct in being sceptical of the term “Middle East,” as its definition is unclear. The World Bank uses the term “Middle East and North Africa” which encompasses the nations of Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Gaza, as well as Yemen. The United Nations Statistics Division, however, refers to the countries of North Africa separately from the countries of “West Asia,” which includes the Gulf countries, the Levant, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. While the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Central Intelligence Agency, the UN Refugee Agency, as well as Human Rights Watch all have slightly different definitions of what countries encompass the Middle East or the Middle East and North Africa, the larger questions are: Why do these organizations feel the need to define this region and what is the need to define this region?   

    Hasan Salaam, an Egyptian-American lyricist made a simple and important observation in some of his lyrics stating, “No such thing as the Middle East… No matter where you stand there’s always something to the east of you.” The definition of the “Middle East” and the terms that are used to describe North Africa, the Gulf, and West Asia have changed throughout history depending on which nations are the current superpowers. It seems that the European and American bodies that set th term “Middle East” into place, wanted to create Europe and North America as the centre of the world, in which everything must be in relation to these regions, and that the terms “Middle East” and “the West” are all relative.

    The “West” has consistently defined the “East” in their own terms, in order to better define themselves and in order to mark “their” territory. When the “West” occupied the “Middle East,” it occupied the languages and the minds of the people in that region because, now, in Arabic the region is referred to as al-Sharq al-Awsat, or the Middle East. The “West” defined the borders of the “Middle East,” the same borders that the “Middle Eastern” countries fight to defend despite the end of colonialism. They have let the “West” define who is seen as friend and who is seen as foe. By doing this, the “Middle East” continues to be the pawns of the “West” and still unknowingly caters to the “West’s” notions of how the “Middle East” should be defined.   

    Transnational Hebrew- Language Limbo

    David Crystal’s three stages of endangered languages, while broad is also constraining. The first stage is the imposed language stage in which, for top down or bottom up reasons, a group becomes pressured into using the new dominant language. [1] While in stage two, argued as the best chance for progress and language preservation to be made, an emerging bilingualism takes place. [2] The new language is used efficiently, while the old language is used competently [3]— ideally coexisting and complementing each other without confrontation.[4] The third stage consists of a newer generation identifying with the new language and the emergence of family dialects.[5]

    This, however, fails to mention or go into greater detail that in the same way a dominated language can be influenced by a dominant language; a dominated language can influence a dominant language. In the case of Israel, Hebrew and Arabic are both considered their official languages, conversely, Arabic is arguably a victim of “language murder” [6][7] as some employers ban Arabic from being used by their staff,[8] a college has banned the use of Arabic[9] and the use of Arabic in public can lead to accosting by the police or receiving other forms of verbal and physical violence, as well. [10]This being a rather top down occurrence with bottom up qualities,[11] as Palestinian youth in Israel do use Hebrew to “show off”[12], but Modern Israeli Hebrew exhibits more of a bottom up system as certain Arabic phraseology and terms become increasingly adopted into Hebrew. Modern Hebrew is a reflection of various ethnic communities contributing to its formation.

    While Arabic is by no means an endangered language, it is used significantly less in official settings. Crystal’s third stage hardly seems relevant to the question of Israel or Modern Israeli Hebrew, as the Palestinian population living in Israel has not exhibited the third stage of Crystal’s model, en masse, but they have undergone the first and second stages. Nevertheless, Palestinians living in Israel have adopted quite a bit of Hebrew phraseology in their day-to-day speech, in the same way Hebrew has adopted Arabic terminology into their language. If the dominated language, Arabic, has filtered through and is being used to an extent by the dominant language, Hebrew, then the dominated language, Arabic, has found a new form of existing.  It cannot be considered language death if even the smallest of phrases is still used, nor would it be considered a living language, but rather a language in limbo.

    Modern Israeli Hebrew is not only deeply affected by Arabic, but also by Yiddish, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Amharic, Tagalog, Thai and others, all spoken by significant immigrant populations in Israel. Adapting these languages into Modern Israeli Hebrew does not make Hebrew any less Hebrew, nor does it threaten national unity.[13] Oppositely, the assimilation of all these languages into Hebrew creates a new language, specific to the needs that suit the Israeli-transnational identity, in which one can pick and choose how the Hebrew language reflects the ever-evolving social and political needs of the population.

    [1] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78-79

    [2] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 80

    [3] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78-89

    [4] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 81

    [5] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78-89

    [6] David Crystal, Language Death, p.86

    [7] Ali Jabareen, Language Policy and the Status of Arabic in Israel, p. 34, http://www.qsm.ac.il/asdarat/jamiea/9/3–ali%20jabareen.pdf

    [8] Conal Urquhart, McDonald’s bans Arabic, The Guardian, 11 March 2004, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/mar/11/israel

    [9] Or Kashti, Private Israeli college forbids teachers from speaking Arabic to students, 24 July 2013, http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.537770

    [10] Isabel Kershner, Young Israelis Held in Attack on Arabs, The New York Times, 20 August 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/world/middleeast/7-israelis-held-in-attack-on-palestinians-in-jerusalem.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    [11] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78

    [12] Ali Jabareen, Language Policy and the Status of Arabic in Israel, p. 32, http://www.qsm.ac.il/asdarat/jamiea/9/3–ali%20jabareen.pdf

    [13] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 83

    Executive Summary Sample

    Executive Summary for the Week of 16/5/2012 – 23/5/2012

    Egypt: Elections

    All of the Think Tanks summarized below hold very different viewpoints concerning the same issue, the Egyptian elections; although, there are some statements that hold true throughout all of the think tanks. All believe that this is a very important time for Egypt and that the outcome of this election is very detrimental, possibly even predictive of the future of Egypt. The pieces primarily examine parliament and the role of the Islamists in Egypt. The Brookings Institution conducted a poll that is telling of what Egyptians want and see in their future, which shown alongside the Gallup poll can be disconcerting. The Gallup poll shows a more pessimistic view of the current political climate, whereas The Brookings Institution is more optimistic, this however can be attributed to the types of questions asked, as well as the depth of the questions. Both the Center for American Progress and Washington Institute for Near East Policy examined the role America can play in the transition process. The Center for American Progress, being more progressive, took a centrist approach to reinstating ties with the new Egyptian government; it was also the only report to provide more detailed background knowledge about the candidates. In contrast, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, under the guise of fostering stability, took a very American Exceptionalist approach to the elections, assuming the worst and even regretting the inability for the Obama administration to get involved. The second report from WINEP also indicates concern with the ability of Egyptians to monitor the elections for fairness and vote rigging. The Plofchan report from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, although not the first to talk about the Salafis and The Muslim Brotherhood, it was the first to chronicle, however briefly, the beginnings of the split between the two groups, as well as state some of the differences in beliefs amongst the two. Lastly, the Council on Foreign Relations report was the only report to put a face to a people, speaking of the obstacles Egypt may face and providing a more in depth look at what many Egyptians may be feeling.

    Think Tank: Brookings Institution

    Topic: Egyptian Elections

    Date: 21/5/2012

    Author: Shibley Telhami

    Type: Report

    Title: What Do Egyptians Want? Key Findings from the Egyptian Public Opinion Poll

    Address: http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2012/05/21-egyptian-election-poll-telhami

    The Brookings Institution has conducted a poll surveying the Egyptian public about political preferences, leaders and regional issues, during May 4-10, 2012 in light of the first presidential election. The Brookings Institution places great emphasis on the importance of the inaccuracies of probable predictions, as there is no analytical model of voting behaviour as of yet. Egyptian voters have also shown a difference in criteria by which they judge parliamentary and presidential candidates.

    Poll Results:

    • Abul-Fotouh led the polls with 32%, followed by Mousa (28%) then Shafiq (14%), Morsi and Sabahi at (8%).
    • In parliamentary elections, 24% a favoured political party determined their vote, whereas in presidential elections, personal trust is a determining factor for 31%.
    • Christians supported Mousa the most, with 43%, as well as voters outside of cities with 31% of the vote.
    • Abul-Fotouh led among university graduates with 35% and among youth, under age 25, with 36%.
    • 54% believe Turkey to be the model reflection in terms of Islam in politics, followed by Saudi Arabia with 32%
    • A majority of those polled hold very unfavourable views of the U.S., with 68% and 73% support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.
    • 66% of Egyptians support Sharia as the basis of Egyptian law, but 83% believe Sharia should be adapted to modern times.
    • A majority of Egyptians admired the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, with 63%. When asked to include Egyptian leaders, Erdogan fell to 15%, with Sadat at 35% and Abdel Nasser at 26%.
    • Brokering Middle East peace and establishing a Palestinian State ranked highest (66%) in regards improving U.S. favourability, followed by stopping military and economic aid to Israel as 46%.
    • While 55% believe there will be no lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis, 46% would like to maintain the peace treaty with Israel and 44% would like to see it cancelled.
    • The two countries that pose the biggest nuclear threat are Israel (97%) and the U.S. (80%).
    • Egyptians have been in support of the rebels against Assad and the Syrian government, but only 18% wish to see external military interventions, 15% support a Turkish Arab military intervention and 43% wish to see no military intervention.

    Think Tank: Center for American Progress

    Topic: Egyptian Elections

    Date: 23/5/2012

    Author: Brian Katulis

    Type: Brief

    Title: Previewing Egypt’s 2012 Presidential Elections

    Address:  http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/05/egypt_elections.h tml/#1

    This report by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank dedicated to public policy research, provides a brief description of Egypt’s first democratic presidential election since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, as well as recommendations for the American government to restore and reinforce ties with the new Egyptian government. In addition, the brief lists and describes the presidential candidates.

    According to the report, it is believed that “no candidate will receive more than 50% of the vote,” which would lead to run-off elections in mid-June between the two top candidates. By June’s end a new president will be sworn in for a four-year term and military rulers will hand over power to the new government. However, the transition is still incomplete as a new constitution is to be written and their remains questions over:

    • The economy- Candidates have addressed unemployment and inflation, but have yet to address public-sector debt, the currency crisis, and energy and food subsidies.
    • Security, Law and Order- The drafting of the new constitution has been halted due to Egypt’s disunities over the identity of their new political system; ie. The role of Islam in the government and legislation.

    The drafting of the constitution is set to take six-months to draft, although it could take longer to get approved and gain public support. The new constitution may also address a checks and balances system, as well as the role of parliament. The role Egypt is to take in the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional security is also a source of debate amongst the candidates.

    The report suggests that the American government conduct a “major interagency review of its Egypt policy.” This review will prepare the U.S. administration for dialogue with the new Egyptian administration later this year. The dialogue should consist of:

    • A renegotiation of “basic terms of the relationship.”
    • Enhance bilateral relationship through common interests.
    • “Build a more stable foundation for U.S.-Egyptian bilateral ties.”

    Results of these dialogues would redefine ties and include more parts of the Egyptian government that were not included in past years.

    Egypt Presidential Candidate Profiles

    • Amr Moussa- He served under the Mubarak regime as Egypt’s Foreign minister, as well as the secretary general of the Arab League. His platform consists of a centrist political strategy. He has been labelled as a remnant of the Mubarak regime. He is known for his anti-Israel and America statements and has campaigned as the “alternative to Islamist candidates.”
    • Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh- His candidacy is opposed by the Muslim Brotherhood. He is an Islamist activist and “would implement Sharia as a formal legal code.” His platforms are “populist economics and “people first” economics.” He served on the Muslim Brotherhoods decision-making council for twenty-two years. He has the support of leaders from the Salafi Nour Party.
    • Ahmad Shafiq- He has served as prime minister, and air force commander under Mubarak, causing him speculation amongst “revolution minded voters.” His platform is to “restore law and order within 30 days of being elected.” Public perception of him has been negative. He is running as an “alternative to Islamist candidates. “
    • Hamdeen Sabbahi- He has nationalist ideologies, basing his campaign on criticism of the U.S. and Israel. He founded social and political organizations and worked as a journalist, in which he was arrested for his “public confrontation” with former President Sadat concerning “rising food prices.” He did not serve under the Mubarak regime and is not an Islamist. He has proposed an alliance with Iran and Turkey and severing ties with Israel and Saudi Arabia.
    • Muhammad Mursi- He is the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party Leader. He has served in Egypt’s Parliament and is the Brotherhood’s leading spokesman. He plans to amend the peace treaty with Israel “to create a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and have Israel recognize the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees.”

    Think Tank: Council on Foreign Relations

    Topic: Egyptian Elections

    Date: 21/5/2012

    Author: Steven A. Cook, Hasib J. Sabbagh

    Type: Expert Brief

    Title: A New Presidential Authority in Egypt

    Address: http://www.cfr.org/egypt/new-presidential-authority-egypt/p28308

    This brief takes a more optimistic approach to the Egyptian elections, summarizing the possible obstacles for the newly elected official, obstacles pertaining to religion in politics, and while also providing a look at the voters’ demands and desire for dignity.

    While Egypt has witnessed violence, protests and authority turnover in the last sixteen months, it has empowered Egyptians to take part in their political system. Current polls show “a clear majority of Egyptians continue to hold the military in high regard,” although not nearly as many Egyptians “support a military-dominated political system.” The SCAF has been contested by the public for the “Selmi principles,” granting “autonomy from elected civilian officials,” as well as for their “application of the State of Emergency.”

    The Muslim Brotherhood votes are split between two candidates, Aboul Fotouh, who was expelled from the Brotherhood, and Morsi, who has been behind in the polls. Despite the parliament being a Brotherhood majority, the Brotherhood is not leading in the presidential polls, possibly due to a Brotherhood announcement against running in the presidential race, that was later followed by Morsi’s presidential bid.

    Egyptians demand more accountability of politicians. Although economic strife “helped create an environment of misery,” in years prior to the uprising, “Egyptians were demanding freedom, justice, and dignity when they brought Hosni Mubarak down.”

    One thing that may delay the transition process will be the role of Islam in politics. Within that lies the issue of whether the Salafis or the Islamists are to speak for Islam. It is anticipated that whomever wins the election must negotiate between different religious groups. If the organised labour parties can emerge in large-scale, they can be very influential in the economic and social policymaking.

    Think Tank: Gallup World via The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

    Topic: Egyptian Elections

    Date: 18/5/2012

    Author: Mohamed Younis and Ahmed Younis

    Type: Report

    Title: Support for Islamists Declines as Egypt’s Election Nears

    Address: http://www.gallup.com/poll/154706/Support-Islamists-Declines-Egypt-Election-Nears.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=World

    According to the Gallup poll, spanning from July 2011 until April 2012 the Islamists have seen a steady increase, followed by a sharp decline in overall support as well as in the areas of prime minister appointment and constitution drafting.

    • July 2011 saw Muslim Brotherhood support at 17%, steadily increasing and peaking at 63% in February, then sharply declining to 42% in April.
    • In July 2011 Salafi support was at 5%, steadily increasing and peaking at 37% in February, then sharply declining to 25% in April.
    • The Nour Party saw 5% support in July, peaking at 40% in February and declining to 30% in April.
    • The Freedom and Justice Party saw 15% support in July, peaking at 67% in February and declining to 43% in April.
    • In February 2012, 62% of Egyptians felt comfortable with parliament writing the constitution, in April 2012 that percentage fell to 44.
    • In February 2012, 46% of Egyptians believed the party that wins the most seats in the parliament should appoint the prime ministers. Egyptians supporting the newly elected president appointing the prime minister next summer was 27%.
    • In April 2012, 27% of Egyptians believed the party that wins the most seats in the parliament should appoint the prime ministers. Egyptians supporting the newly elected president appointing the prime minister next summer was 44%.
    • In February 2012, 62% of Egyptians thought a parliament influenced by the Brotherhood was a good thing; 27% thought it was a bad thing.
    • In April 2012, 36% of Egyptians thought a parliament influenced by the Brotherhood was a good thing; 47% thought it was a bad thing.

    This dissatisfaction can be attributed to the economic decline and bouts of violence. The transition has been twisted by power struggles within parliament, as opposed to reversing “financial decline and working to hold former regime members accountable.”

    Think Tank: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

    Topic: Egyptian Elections

    Date: 22/5/2012

    Author: Eric Trager

    Type: Policy Analysis

    Title: Presidential Elections Will Not End Egyptian Instability

    Address: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/presidential-elections-will-not-end-egyptian-instability

    This WINEP analysis focuses on American interests within the Egyptian elections and states that given the economic situation of Egypt and the lack of clarity in the role of a new president, the elections will not provide stability in Egypt, but could further instability. Trager states that Sabahi is considered a favourite amongst expatriate voters, and while Mousa appears to be leading in the polls, there is no anticipated winner. With 75% of the parliament being Islamists, “ongoing instability has damaged the Islamists’ popularity and raised the profile of former regime candidates,” such as Shafiq, who has sought the votes of former Mubarak supporters.

    The analysis concentrates on the shift from an American friendly regime to the current stance of the candidates that express anti-Western platforms, with the exception of Shafiq who is the only candidate who is not anti-Western or pro-Sharia. 

    Fair elections will not likely cause stability as the parameters of the role of the newly elected president are undefined, as the new constitution has not been drafted. The proposals to allow the SCAF “to retain absolute powers in reviewing its internal affairs, including its budget,” and the ability of the president’s power to dissolve parliament, are likely to “ignite a severe confrontation between the military and the Islamists.”

    The Obama administration has not declared support for any candidate. Washington should insist the SCAF conduct the elections fairly and to “follow a credible constitutional process,” otherwise mass protests could occur. Such protests could suppress stability restoration. Concerned that Islamists may play a role in an uprising against the SCAF, Washington should “use its $1.3 billion in military aid as leverage,” to ensure proper SCAF administration.

    Think Tank: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

    Topic: Egyptian Elections

    Date: 22/5/2012

    Author: David Schenker

    Type: Policy Analysis

    Title: Egyptian Elections: Beyond Winning

    Address: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/egyptian-elections-beyond-winning

    This policy analysis of the Egyptian elections by WINEP, often criticised for being pro-Israel, discusses the credibility and speculation surrounding the actual voting process in Egypt. Concern is raised over an Islamist sweep within the new government, as Islamists are the majority of the new parliament. WINEP believes that regardless of the election process, a group of Egyptians may not accept the results if their candidate does not win.

    Egyptians have been to the voting polls four times in fifteen months, causing concern that Egyptians may be losing their enthusiasm to vote. The constitutional referendum in March 2011 saw 41.2% of eligible voters vote, but Shura Council elections in January and February 2012 saw only 6.5% of voters in the first round and 12.2% voters in the second. About 54% of voters cast their ballots for the People’s Assembly elections. The high turn out rate is thought to be because some Egyptians believed the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would fine them for not voting. The threat of SCAF imposing an “interim constitution” could discourage voters or encourage voters to vote.

    The Carter Center, the only American based democracy promotion organisation currently in Egypt  “will not be allowed to observe any single polling station for more than thirty minutes.” Thousands of Egyptians have volunteered to monitor the polling stations.

    WINEP believes that in the event Shafiq or Mousa win, there may be “claims of SCAF fraud,” accompanied by mass protests. The key to stabilizing Egypt is in the credibility of the voting process.

    Think Tank: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

    Topic: Egyptian Elections

    Date: 16/5/2012

    Author: Thomas K. Plofchan III

    Type: Report

    Title: Egypt’s Islamists: A Growing Divide

    Address: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/islamists/egypt’s-islamists-growing-divide

    This report chronicles and examines the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi rivalry from the fall of Hosni Mubarak until more recently into the elections. The two organisations originally held similar positions on issues after the fall of Mubarak, although began to divide mid-2011.

    Three Salafi organisations, The Nour Party, being the biggest, joined the Brotherhood led Democratic Alliance that soon dissolved afterwards. The Salafis then formed the Islamic Bloc that won approximately 27% of the parliament vote, despite political inexperience. “The Nour Party won 111 of the 508 parliamentary seats, making it the second largest part in the People’s Assembly, the lower house of parliament.” The Brotherhood won 40% of the vote. Both parties have stated little interest in forming an Islamist alliance in the parliament.

    The media has recently depicted the Brotherhood in a negative light due to entering the presidential candidacy after stating they wouldn’t. The Salafi party supports Aboul Fotouh, an expelled Brotherhood leader, while the Brotherhood’s Morsi is behind in the polls.

    Salafis “oppose the use of alcohol and exposure of women’s bodies,” in regards to tourism standards; The Nour Party encourages cultural tourism contrasting to resort tourism and the Brotherhood “have distinguished between Egyptians and foreigners traveling in the country.” The biggest contrast deals with the role of Sharia in the new political system. The Brotherhood supports the principles of Sharia in legislation, whereas the Salafis support Sharia judgment.

    Restoration and preservation of the cultural landscape of Hebron and Bethlehem

    http://www.idealist.org/view/volop/34z62N5TN2gW4

    Restoration and preservation of the cultural landscape of Hebron and Bethlehem

    Volunteer Opportunity posted by: CADIP

    Posted on: February 26, 2016

    Volunteer Opportunity description

    This volunteer project will be carried out in two cities – Hebron and Bethlehem. In Hebron, volunteers will work in the Old City and in a local Children’s center, while in Bethlehem, the group will work in the village of Battir and in other parts of the city.

    Volunteer Abroad (www.cadip.org)

    The project seeks to protect and renovate old Palestinian sites, and in particular, Battir – an ancient village with wonderful landscape and nature, just outside the town of Bethlehem, which has been inhabited since the Iron Age. Battir has a unique irrigation system that utilizes man-made terraces and a system of manually diverting water via sluice gates. The old monuments and water canals of Battir date back to thousands of years, and the landscape resembles the one of the Babylon gardens. The place has been registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2014.

    Volunteer Abroad (www.cadip.org)

    The work will include the following activities:
    – Planting trees in different places in Hebron, visiting villages around Hebron city and helping them rehabilitate their lands
    – Fun activities with children attending summer camps
    – Tours around the old cities of Hebron and Bethlehem: painting, cleaning, and renovating old places
    – Rehabilitation of old places in Battir, including the very ancient water canals. This special ancient water system is connected to several natural water sources.
    – Help rebuilding an ancient wall that leads to the very ancient water cistern at the edge of the village. This wall will help locals and visitors reach the water cistern, which is hoped to become a historical and natural tourist attraction.
    – Working on several locations beside the ancient train railway, which at the time of the Ottoman Empire was the main line that connected Turkey to Palestine. The location of the railway is the borderline between Palestine and Israel.

    Volunteer Abroad (www.cadip.org)

    The project will include intensive cultural events that aim at raising the awareness of the volunteers on the history of Palestine and the conflict, in addition to meetings with civil society representatives in both cities that work in social development.

    Project dates: July 23 – August 2, 2016

    More info: http://www.cadip.org/volunteer-in-palestine

    Volunteer Abroad (www.cadip.org)

    How to apply

    Enrollment and other similar volunteer projects: http://www.cadip.org

    Give us a call:

    USA: 310-882-7400; 646-657-2900; 617-841-0400;

    Canada: 604-628-7400; 416-943-4900; 514-316-8500

    Get involved with Israeli Apartheid Week

    mail@bdsnationalcommittee.org

    Want to support Palestinian freedom, justice and equality?

    Join #IsraeliApartheidWeek 2016

    Each year, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) takes place in more than 150 universities and cities across the world. With creative education and action, IAW aims to raise awareness about Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid over the Palestinian people and build support for the nonviolent Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

    In response to the impressive growth of BDS in the last few years, Israel and its right-wing allies in the west have launched repressive, anti-democratic attacks on the movement and the right to boycott, instead of fulfilling their obligations to end Israel’s violations of international law. This makes this year’s #IsraeliApartheidWeek more crucial than ever.

    Support Palestinian popular resistance to oppression–join IAW 2016.

    Check out apartheidweek.org and #IsraeliApartheidWeek to find out what’s happening in your area. More events in different cities are being added all the time, so do check back if there’s nothing in your city listed yet. 

    Want to organise #IsraeliApartheidWeek events on your campus or in your city? Register your organisation here and you’ll receive an info pack full of ideas about how to organise #IsraeliApartheidWeek.

    Dates:
    UK: February 22-28
    Europe: February 29-March 7
    Palestine: March 1-10
    South Africa: March 7-13
    Arab World: March 20-26
    US: various, including March 27-April 3
    Latin America: April 10-24
    Canada: various throughout March, check with local organisers

    The Left in Israel: Zionism vs Socialism

    For a presentation of Zachary Lockman’s article go here

    http://prezi.com/i5ylcubkx4da/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

     

    Post-Zionist Critique on Israel and the Palestinians: Part 1 The Academic Debate

    A presentation of Ilan Pappe’s 1997 article can be found here

    http://prezi.com/fi9mqt6uxuy7/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share