Archive for March, 2014


Palestinian music is seen as unknown territory as there doesnt appear to be much history on it, however the industry of Rap has created and influenced a way in which palestinian citizens can express themselves and now the industry has grown to the point in which people make a living of this. Palestinian Hip-Hop reportedly really took off in 1998 when a group called ‘DAM’ lead by the artist Tamer Nafar came on to the scene. They used the genre of Rap as a platform in creating their own sub-genre of music which stems of the typical Rap style blending Arabic melodies with Rap beats. The lyrics are usualy sung in Arabic however in some cases have been seen to be sung in English and French. Since then, the new Palestinian musical sub-genre has grown to include artists in the Palestinian territories, Israel, Great Britain, the United States andCanada.


The policy of Israel is based on the ethnicity and race discrimination, as well as the apartheid, Michel Shiha have argued in his book “The roots of the Zionist ideology and policy of racial discrimination in Israel” that the Jews due to their holy book, they believe they are the God’s chosen people, and all the other mankind are lower degrees. (Michel Shiha, 2003)

In addition, there are many researches have been launched in the comparison between the apartheid in Israel and South Africa, most of these researches have focused on the apartheid in Israel when the South African prime minister in 1961 (Hendrik Verwoerd) have dismissed an Israeli vote against South African apartheid at the UN, he said: “Israel is not consistent in its new anti-apartheid attitude… they took Israel away from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” Moreover, the former President of the United States (Jimmy Carter), have argued in his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”, that the policy of Israel based on racial discrimination against the Palestinians, he continued to say: “system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights. This is the policy now being followed, although many citizens of Israel deride the racist connotations of prescribing permanent second-class status for the Palestinians.” (Simon & Schuster, 2006)

As we said before, there are a lot of researches have conducted on the tragic discrimination situations that faced all the Palestinians by Israeli policy, wherever they were in the Israel, or Palestine state, which all of these cannot be addressed here.

But let’s us discuss a little bit the discrimination between Jews themselves!!!!! According to the history books, the Jews are divided to two categories:

Ashkenazi Jews: who originally emerged from “the Holy Roman Empire”, they have come to Palestine from Europe, and USA, and their traditional language was Yiddish.



Ashkenazi Jews

Sephardi Jews: have lived in the Iberian Peninsula and they came to Palestine from Arab, African, and Asian countries.

Sephardi Jews


Sephardi Jews

Michel Shiha have argued in his book, that the race, and ethnicity discriminations can be clearly noted between these two categories, that the Ashkenazi Jews are enjoying the best social service, massive wealth, and the best positions in the governments, while the Sephardi Jews are suffering hardship, and they just have jobs that the Ashkenazi Jews do not work in it. (Michel Shiha, 2003)

The reason from mentioning these two categories of Jews is to show how the state of Israel is based on the discriminations even between Jews themselves, so how you can imagine the discriminations of “Race, Ethnicity, and the Gender” that Palestinians can face inside this community!!

With regarding to the visiting of our team, and the participant observation for the social life of Palestinian community, we have noticed the benefit from engaging in the sport activities for the youth Palestinians generation, this finding is a self-evident and an evidence on the state of despair for this community, so the sport activities are used by these youth to escape from the feeling of tension, sadness and stress, it is very important to say that these behaviours are common among the Arab youth societies as a result of the restrictions from their dictatorial governments.

The evidence that can support this supposition has come from the discussion with children about their own culture, which highlighted many different way of their understanding about the culture, this contradict came as a result of the conflict between the two main parties in Palestine (Hamas and Fatah), as well as came from the living inside different culture, which is Jewish culture.


Written By : Fatma Bensalem



  • The Empire’s New Walls: Sovereignty, Neo-liberalism, and the Production of Space in Post-apartheid South Africa and Post-Oslo Palestine/Israel. Andrew James Clarno. 2009. p.66-67
  • Michel Shiha, The roots of the Zionist ideology and policy of racial discrimination in Israel, Damascus University Journal – Volume 19 – Issue II –2,003
  • Dick Hobbs, Ethnography, The SAGE Dictionary of Social Research Methods (2006), Victor Jupp (ed.)
  • Graycar R, Morgan J 1990 The Hidden Gender of Law. Federation Press, Annandale, Australia
  • Sacks K B 1989 Toward a unified theory of class, race, and gender. American Ethnologist 16(3): 534–50
  • Adnan Abu Amer, The newspaper of Palestine Pulse, 11 Feb 2014
  • Palestine Online Website, 17 May 2012
  • Simon & Schuster: Palestine Peace Not Apartheid (Hardcover) – Read an Excerpt,” Simon & Schuster November, 2006.
  • UN CIVIL SOCIETY CONFERENCE SLAMS ‘ISRAELI APARTHEID’: Worldwide Activism, Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign”

To understand the Palestine issue and the right of return, it is important to go through an analysing of the ethnographic data for the categories “Race, Ethnicity, and the Gender”, this method as was argued by Dick Hobbs can help researchers “to unpack cultures or social settings that are hidden or difficult to locate.” (Dick Hobbs, 2006)

Our team already have done a visiting to Bethlehem City, so the participant observation method will be the main method for this analysing, without ignoring the structure of cocktail of methodologies of this method, which based on historical, journals, and photographic analysing, in order to seek the meaning of social life from the everyday perspective of this society.

The categories “Race, Ethnicity, and the Gender” always have been tied with the term of discrimination, which intended to describe the real differences between group of people, this term can be useful to understand the nature of relations between the Palestinian community inside the Jewish community, also we have intended to use these categories to analyse the real life situations and the activities under the ethnographic perspectives.

There are many researches have dealt with each category separately, but the best is dealing with these categories as a whole system, according to Morgen that: “these social relations so interpenetrate that they are better understood as constituting…one another.” (Morgan, 1990), and Sacks also have argued that the relation between these categories in the analysing of data should be considered as “a part of a unitary system”. (Sacks, 1989)

The best thing to start our discussion about these categories is to bring latest good news (2014) from the Palestinian National Authority, which have decided to abolition of the religion from identity cards of the Palestinians people. (The newspaper of Palestine Pulse, 11 Feb 2014) The decision was made by the President of the State of Palestine (Mahmoud Abbas); this new law will help to prevent any discrimination between the Palestinians on the basis of “Race, Ethnicity, Religion, and the Gender”.

Palestinians show ID cards to Israeli policeman inside bus in Jerusalem.

Palestinians inside a bus in Jerusalem are showing their ID to Israeli police (photo by REUTERS, 2004)

In contrast, a report was broadcasted on the radio of Hebrew in 2012 in the state of Israel, it has revealed on some racial and discriminations aggressions among the Israeli society between Arab and Jews, and especially among the Jews themselves, which have based on “Race, Ethnicity”, and also toward the black people who came from Africa as refugees to work in Israel.



Demonstrations against African immigrants

This report has highlighted many attempts from Jews in Tel Aviv to burn some houses where some refugees from Africa live.  (Palestine Online Website, 17 May 2012)

Written by: Fatma Bensalem 

With such a dramatic title you might think this post will be about hard life in Palestine and how people suffer..but no! Even if the situation there is indeed as bad as some might know, people manage to live the best way possible, with a smile on their faces.

The title strictly referees to one of the artists we interviewed while we were in Palestine. Amer Shomali‘s vast work can provide a variety of proofs about a Palestine defined by creativity and not shown in media. A few references acquired from his stories, certain information from his website and several from his workshop helped us understand a new concept combining art with activism called “artism”.

“Pagliacci” is one of my favourite work from his portfolio. He claims to be a “self portray”, but from my perspective, very little details of the paintings could be linked to the artist. “Pagliacci” comes with a new version of a stereotypical paid happiness, and goes beyond the image of a joyful entertainer, often encountered in circuses.

The story starts like this:

Once upon a time, a man goes to the doctor to teat a soul illness.. he was suffering of depression. Life seemed painful, harsh and without any form of mercy. Beauty was absent, covered by dark clouds, spreading loneliness and isolation. A cruel and threatening world with no place for hope and with a path limited by vague and uncertainty, shaped the man’s feelings. Desperate, he was waiting for a last solution from the doctor.Experienced,  the doctor has encountered this form of behaviour many times in the past so he came up with the easiest solution – finding the happiness in others. 

“The solution is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him, that should pick you up.”

While tears came out of his eyes the man said: 

“But doctor.. I am Pagliacci” 

(Shomali, A. 2010) 


Different versions of the character could be find on Amer Shomali‘s website along with many other examples of his work :

The reason I chose to write about this painting is strongly related to the dramatic story behind it, surely present in our contemporary society through many different forms.  The entertainer doesn’t necessary have to fit the characteristics of the word but it can refer to any hiding behind the smile.  Some call it strength, others  see it as a weakness while Pagliacci understands it as insanity.

Finally, it is a different perspective of the world which sends a direct message towards appearances.  Images can be interpreted, information can be misleading,  people are easy to manipulate, while media knows exactly how to use all of them together.

Written by Antonia D Hruscovschi

The world has been reduced to one global village by the existence of diverse and vast means of communication. This is even more obvious now than it was more than two decades ago because of the emergence of new social media. As a massive number of people mostly continue to enjoy the privilege of using  the new technology and the  social  media, we need to acknowledge that a greater percentage of people have very little or even zero access to the new technology, or even, the things that we consider as our ‘rights’ such as access to Facebook or twitter.

Palestine being in the Middle East might be one of the victims of minor access to the new social media. This however might not be the back bone of the social problems there. One of the major roles of the media is to act as an intercessor between the civilians and the society. Hence, if equal opportunities are not being given to both women and men either to access the media or even to work in the media then that society is considered biased.

Palestinian women have struggled so much to have a good representation in the media and also to have equal opportunities to work in the media just like their male counterparts. Just like most women working in this field, a few years back Palestinian women did not have any voice in the media sector due to the absence of an official authority in the occupied Palestinian authority. However after the Oslo agreement and the resulting process of government, the women in Palestine have had the opportunity to engage in the media and Press occupations such as Reporters, Editors, Photographers and many more.

Radio Nissa Header

Radio Nissa FM in Palestine is one of the first women’s radio in the Middle East. This programme has been on for the last two years and it works as a platform to inspire women in Palestine and also to highlight Women’s’ Success stories. The existence of this Radio Nissa has gradually shifted the role from just being an inactive media consumer, to the active role of re-shaping the image of Palestinian women.

There have been also several instances whereby Palestinian women actively used social media such as Facebook to speak out their minds. For instance, I recently came across a Facebook page for Palestinian women known as Women for Palestine. This is a page for Palestinian women with over 7500 Palestinian women followers. These women use this page as a platform to let the whole world know when they are facing difficulties and when they are in need of aid. They also use the page to empower each other in their time of need.


This is a film which came out last year September which stars Brad Pitt (Gerry Lane) as the main character. Gerry who is a United Nations employee transverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is destroying  armies and powerful governments, and is also threatening to wipe out the whole of humanity. Gerry, being a UN investigator is given a task to find out the source of the deadly zombies and he reluctantly takes up the role on condition that his wife and two daughters would have guaranteed safety.

Gerry and his team jets off to Southern Korea but unfortunately, few moments after their arrival, they are attacked by these deadly zombies. The whole team was wiped out but Gerry and one pilot were the only survivors. A former CIA agent advices Gerry to go to Jerusalem for safetly ,rwhere the Israel Mossad had established a safe zone way before the outbreak of the zombies. This implied that Israel was the only nation in the world that was aware of the future outbreak of the zombies. This is the reason why it had the chance to protect itself from the zombies and also from the rest of the world with its protective wall (Jerusalem wall).


Written by Cynthia Mbugua

Two state solution

Posted: March 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

We are Independent
“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs… Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home” Mahatma Gandhi
In recent new Japan has pledged 200 Million dollars in the help the Palestinian government as part of the 22 countries which will help the recognition of Palestine as an independent state. High cabinet members met in order to discuss the outcomes of a two state solution in bid to create a peaceful environment where two states co-exist as peaceful neighbours. Giving Palestine once again its own economic and financial control with its own sovereign. This decision can come no sooner to Palestinians who have lived parts of their lives in miserable refugee camps and been ruled by Israelis.

By zainab Mogul