Susan Abulahawa's novel, The Blue Between Sky and Water is a story of powerful, flawed women; of relocation, separation and heartache; of renewal, family, endurance, and love.
"This remarkable book examines how the issue of the Palestinian villages whose inhabitants were expelled in 1948 has evolved in the Israeli consciousness. Kadman looks at official Israeli discourse, kibbutz and moshav diaries and records, and the maps produced by the Israeli state to show in disturbing detail how the dispossession of the population of over 400 villages, most of which have since been destroyed, has been largely eliminated from the imaginary of most Israelis."
—Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies, History Department Chair, and Co-Director of the Center for Palestine Studies.
Areej Sabbagh-Khoury was the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Columbia Center for Palestine Studies, Fall 2015, Spring 2016. She is an associate researcher and the Academic Coordinator of the Political Participation Project of Palestinians in Israel at Mada al-Carmel - The Arab Center for Applied Social Research, Haifa. She spent Fall 2015 at Columbia University working on a book project based on her dissertation research, Colonization Practices and Interactions at the Frontier: Ha-Shomer Ha-Tzair Kibbutzim and the Surrounding Arab Villages at the Margins of the Valley of Jezreel/Marj Ibn 'Amer, 1936-1956. Her most recent publication is a co-authored article in Settler Colonial Studies; Settler Colonial Citizenship: Conceptualizing the Relationship between Israel and its Palestinian Citizens. She has received several awards and grants for her research, among them the Fulbright Post-doctoral Scholar Award.
The symposium engages intersecting imaginaries and histories that impact Palestinians, Kashmiris, and Tamils. Complex modes of power and history structure conquest, appropriation, and occupation across shifting colonial, (post)colonial, and decolonial moments. Peoples and landscapes are witness to monumental partitions, erasures, and Nakbas (catastrophes), producing states of exception organized through securitization, majoritarianism, and militarism. The symposium is concerned with issues of subjugation, minoritization, and racialization; and persistent efforts to articulate/silence truth and practice resistance, freedom, and self-determination. We draw on the efforts of native-local and allied intellectuals, activists, artists, and scholars of colonized peoples and geographies to decolonize knowledge and facilitate counter-memory. Works that strive to reorganize the senses, engender innovative methodologies, and open space for cultural and political experimentation are engaged. Our efforts contend with multiple complexities, including the ethics of access and engagement with material 'artefacts' and endangered archives imprinted with gendered violence, grief, and loss; bodies identified as half-widow, unknown, queer, disabled, and Other; landscapes of cemeteries of numbers and unknown graves; walls, borders, and shifting roadblocks; and disparate political and metaphoric ruptures. Attentive to multiple traditions of critical thought, this symposium aspires to collaborative scholarly engagement with the spatio-temporal politics of life and death relating to Palestinians, Kashmiris, and Tamils. It calls for intersectional analyses across disciplines, methodologies, issues, and geographicities to enable thought in terrains and among peoples where life is often neither bearable nor 'grievable.' Refusing hierarchies and celebrations of victimhood, this symposium seeks to foster generative approaches to counter-memory. In doing so, we investigate the politics of life and death, proximity and alliance, and their cultural, political, social, and legal implications; and negotiate the possibility of forming an intellectual collective on the rights and (im)possibilities of the living and the dead.
Post-Zionist historians, relying almost exclusively on Israeli government archives, sought to debunk Zionist nationalist myths about the war of 1948, and were mostly occupied by the question of whether there was a master plan to ethnically cleanse Palestinians. Despite its importance, this question distracted researchers from inquiring about the responsibility of the Israeli society as a whole for the displacement of refugees, especially when it comes to appropriating Palestinian lands and property, and preventing the return of Palestinian refugees. Based on a meticulous examination of local archives of a leftist Zionist movement - Ha-Shomer Ha-Tza'ir - in Marj Ibn 'Amer, Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University, tracks the process of settler colonial practices and ideologies that enabled the expulsion in 1948 and the pillaging of the property of their Palestinian neighbors. She also explores the politics of remembering by Ha-Shomer Ha-Tzair kibbutzim members as they reconstructed memories of the 1948 colonization practices and their role in the Nakba.
Based on an extensive photo archive of road signs, Abdul Rahim al-Shaikh, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at Birzeit University, Fulbright Visiting Senior Scholar at the Center for Palestine Studies, interrogates the colonial politics of toponymy within historic Palestine from as early as 1856. It shows how eurocentric, colonizing politics of toponymy were deployed by the Zionists, the Zionist movement, and the settler colonial state of Israel to rename the Palestinian landscape. Declaring Palestine a terra nullius brought the Columbus namemania into play, necessitating theorizing the collapse of two events, Euro-American colonialism and Zionism, in one, albeit ongoing, structure. The talk constructs a genealogy of the Zionist names commissions and its inherent politics; elaborates on the modes of resistance against these colonial politics; examines the map transformations on the political, cultural and artistic levels of the Palestinian imaginations; and traces the counter-cultural engineering deployed to combat a century-long project directed towards synthesizing a geographic amnesia.
Areej Sabbagh-Khoury is the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University, Center for Palestine Studies. She is also an associate researcher at Mada al-Carmel - The Arab Center for Applied Social Research. Her current book project examines relations between members of leftist Zionists kibbutzim and Palestinian villagers in Northern Palestine within a settler colonial framework. Sabbagh-Khoury completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University. She contributed to several book chapters and articles on citizenship, memory, gender and settler colonialism, among them "Palestinian Predicaments: Jewish Immigration and Refugees Repatriation." She also co-edited two volumes of The Palestinians in Israel: A Guide to History, Politics, and Society: the first volume was published in 2011 and the second on December 2015 (both volumes were published in English, Hebrew and Arabic). She has received several awards and grants for her research, among them the Fulbright Post-doctoral Scholar Award year 2015-2016 and the Inaugural Post-doctoral Fellowship in Palestine and Palestinian Studies at Brown University 2016-2017.