On Panel II of the annual conference, speakers Dr. Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Grant Smith, Yousef Munayyer, and Lara Friedman discuss the topics of geopolitics, BDS, the Media & Palestine, and US perspective on the “Deal of the Century”.
In commemoration of the Palestinian nakba, ongoing for the past 70 years, and in light of the wide-spread nakba that now defines the Middle East, Zeina Azzam, Zein El-Amine, Sharif Elmusa, and Kim Jensen read from their own works in combination with a variety of Palestinian resistance poets–Darwish, Zayyad, Al-Qasim–and more contemporary poets–Naomi Shihab Nye and Dareen Tatour.
Artist Rajie Cook talks about his experiences as an Arab-American graphic designer, whose parents, Najeeb and Jaleela Cook, came as Palestinian immigrants to the United States in search of peace and opportunity for themselves and their family. These experiences are detailed in his book, which evolves into a narrative of how he made his mark on the international stage of graphic design.
Paul-Gordon Chandler takes the listener on a fascinating journey through the all-embracing spirituality of Kahlil Gibran, the early 20th century Lebanese-American poet artist and mystic, author of the bestselling book The Prophet. He explores how Kahlil Gibran, a supreme East-West figure, can be a much-needed guide for our time, related to peace, harmony and building bridges between the creeds of the Middle East and West.
This memoir offers uncommon and thought provoking cross-cultural observations on segregation, the “American Dream”, race, identity, science, sexuality, love, academia, religion, tradition, personal freedom, social status, and class from the perspective of Dr. Ashraf El-Bayoumi, who was living in America for the first time in 1950s, pursuing his post-graduate studies in chemistry in Florida.
A screening of three short films from The Freedom Theater is presented by Felice Gelman and followed by the Skyped in presence of Mohamed Haj Ibrahim. Journey of a Freedom Fighter is the story of one armed fighter who chose resistance through art. Maybe presents a young woman film student who fights for her right to pursue her dream and finds her inspiration in another who breaks with convention in a different field. The Racer tells the story of a Palestinian stock car racer who wins against the odds of occupation.
Members of the multimedia program at The Freedom Theatre of Jenin discuss the role of creative work as a means of resisting the Israeli occupation, and their work with the Theatre in introducing young Palestinians to a variety of artistic forms, including music, photography, filmmaking, and writing. They view these forms as necessary creative outlets in an environment that is often violent and oppressive.
In the art of Bedouin artist, Eid Hadaleen, the instruments of the occupation are reconstructed by the occupied. The originals of the miniatures are Hadaleen’s everyday fare: bulldozer, helicopter, digger, tractor, truck. These modes of transportation and construction are wielded against the Palestinian people with the intended effect of immobilizing them. Yet, through the use of wood, iron, rubber, plastic, glass, parts of furniture and accessories, Hadaleen performs a miniature imitation that suggests on one hand mockery and on another the power of creative responses to the occupation.