Tag Archives: Palestine

VOMENA 6.4.14 – Practicing Return and Voting or Not Voting in Egypt

Today we will discuss the recent presidential elections in Egypt.

Despite massive pro-military media propaganda in Egypt, and threats of large fines against those who did not vote, the election commission had to extend the voting for a third day in an attempt to draw more people to polling booths. As predicted, ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared himself the president of Egypt with 96% of the votes. So was it apathy or an effective Egyptians boycott? What explains the lack of voter turnout when the military has been getting support from a huge sector of the Egyptian public?

Khalil Bendib posed these questions to Cairo-based activist and journalist, Hossam El-Hamalawy.


Later in the show, we discuss the creative ways Palestinians have used to practice their right of return over recent years.

We will speak with Samera Esmeir, associate professor at the department of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley about her recent article, “A Guide for the Perplexed: On the Return of the Refugees” published on the Middle East Research and Information Project. In this text, professor Esmeir focused on the the the return of some of the Palestinian refugees to their village Kafr Bir’im, located in northern Palestine in the Galilee, whose residents were expelled in 1948.

“Refugees no longer, we have returned!” a group of Palestinian youths declared in 2012 as they decided to practice their right of return by going back to their village of Iqrit in northern Palestine.A year later, some of the refugees from the neighboring village Kafr Bir’im declared their return to their village. Announcing that they were no longer refugees, to Israel’s consternation, they moved to live in the church and in the two-room school structure of the village, holding gatherings, parties, events and concerts.

Kafr Bir’im’s history and refugees struggle with the Israeli courts as they continued occupying their land. Samera Esmeir started taking us through the village which was declared by the Israelis a national park in the aftermath of the 1948 Nakba.

Read Samera Esmeir’s article, “A Guide for the Perplexed: On the Return of Refugees” here. 

VOMENA 4.30.14 – A Lecture from Ali Abunimah: The Battle for Justice in Palestine

On today’s show, we’re broadcasting the lecture from Ali Abunimah on the failure of a two-state solution, which was given to benefit the Middle East Children’s Alliance. As Israel and its advocates lurch toward greater extremism, many ask where the struggle is headed. Abunimah offers a clear analysis of this crossroads moment and looks forward with urgency down the path to a more hopeful future.

Ali Abunimah is the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse and newly released The Battle for Justice in Palestine. He co-founded and directs the widely acclaimed publication The Electronic Intifada. Based in the United States, he has written hundreds of articles and been an active part of the movement for justice in Palestine for 20 years.
This lecture was originally given on April 22nd, 2014, and was sponsored by the Middle East Children’s Alliance and KPFA, the home of Voices of the Middle East and North Africa. To continue to support this kind of programming, we need your help! Call 510 848-5732 or toll free 1-800-439-5732 to donate, or contribute through our site, kpfa.org.

4.9.14 – “The Battle for Justice in Palestine” and MENA films at San Francisco International Film Fest

In this week’s show, Khalil Bendib speaks with Ali Abunimah, co-founder and director of website The Electronic Intifada about his new book, “The Battle for Justice in Palestine”. We’ll ask him about the movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel and the future of Palestine.
Abunimah writes:
“Efforts to achieve a “two-state solution” have finally collapsed; the struggle for justice in Palestine is at a crossroads. As Israel and its advocates lurch toward greater extremism, many ask where the struggle is headed. This book offers a clear analysis of this crossroads moment and looks forward with urgency down the path to a more hopeful future.”
 Khalil speaks with Ali Abunimah about the main thesis of his book and the global BDS movement.

Later in the program, Malihe Razazan interviews Rachel Rosen, director of programming at the San Francisco International Film Festival about the annual festival, which will start on April 24th and it will run through May 5th. This year’s festival will feature 168 films, including 74 Narrative Features, 29 Documentaries, and a number of world and U.S. Premieres, including a number of films from the Middle East and North Africa.

Not featured in our show, but also of note: Jose State University Persian Studies is hosting for the first-ever “Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora”, a two-day conference featuring panels on visual arts, literature and film with Bay Area and nationally-acclaimed writers, artists and filmmakers.

The conference also features two special free events:

  • “Inja o Oonja: Stories from Iranian American Life” — a staged adaptation of three short stories from Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers on Friday, April 11. 7 pm, Le Petit Trianon Theatre, 72 N. 5th Street. Free and open to the public.
  • Filmmaking in the Diaspora– A Screening and Discussion Babak Sarrafan’s “Doosteh Hameshegy–Forever Friends” and Mo Gorjestani’s “Refuge” on Saturday, April 12. 7  pm, SJSU Student Union Ballroom. Free and open to the public.

For more information about the conference, visit: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/581896


Vomena 1.22.14

A still from "The Big House", Musa Syeed's short film up for an award from the Sundance Film Festival

A still from “The Big House”, Musa Syeed’s short film up for an award from the Sundance Film Festival

On today’s episode, we’ll hear a lecture from Israeli historian Ilan Pappe about the the fallacy of the two-state solution to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The lecture was originally given in December 2013 at Cambridge. Dr. Pappe is a professor of history, director of the European Center for Palestine Studies and co-director for the Exeter Center for Ethno-Political Studies. Among his ground-breaking books is The Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine, which has documented the historiography and mythology around the creation of the state of Israel.

Also in the episode, we discuss the future of Middle East studies classes at San Francisco City College with faculty member Dr.Abdul Jabbar and student Ashely Suarez. For the past two years, San Francisco City College, the biggest community college has been in danger of losing its accreditation, but earlier this month a San Francisco judge ruled that closing city college would have a “catastrophic” effect on the city. We’ll talk about the importance of this vital community institution of higher learning, which is currently under attack. The fear of a possible shutdown has resulted in a 30% decrease in enrollment. Various departments at San Francisco College are now campaigning to make sure students continue to be able to receive a diverse and quality education. To learn more about Middle East studies at San Francisco City College and to enroll, please visit www.ccsf.edu.

Finally, we have an interview with award-winning independent filmmaker Musa Syeed. His film,”The Big House”, is one of the 15 short films selected in this year’s Sundance Film Festival. “The Big House” is the story of a Yemeni boy who finds the key to an empty mansion, which is a far cry from his impoverished living conditions. This 5-minute film has been called an allegory for the revolutionary struggles currently occurring in the Middle East and North Africa. You can watch and vote for the big house by going here. You have until January 24th to cast your vote.

VOMENA 1.15.14

Thousands marched on May 6 on the parliament, denouncing the army’s crackdown on the Abbassiya protesters and calling for the release of the detainees. Hassam el-Hamalawy.

Nearly three years after the fall of Mubarak, with the deep state and the military openly back in control, Egypt seems to have come full circle. How did that happen and what is the situation on the ground really like, as Egyptians go to the polls again to vote on a new proposed constitution? Vomena’s Khalil Bendib speaks with Egyptian activist, blogger and journalist, Hossam el-Hamalawy.

Selma Debbagh wanted to explore the conflict in Palestine from a different angle: the struggle between the personal and the political. She wrote a contemporary novel about what it means for individuals to constantly weigh up the competing demands of the Palestinian cause and society, on the one hand, and their own individual wishes and desires on the other. “ I wanted to present a state of war, a state of being, a state of pressure, of siege.” Malihe Razazan speaks with Selam about her background shaped who she is today and how it has influenced her writing. Selam Dabbagh is the author of Out of It.

Libya’s Abu Salim prison massacre’s anniversary

Tomorrow Marks the 16th anniversary of the Abu Salim Prison massacre in Libya when, on june 28th 1996, more than 1,200 prisoners were shot and killed. Malihe Razazan speaks with veteran british journalist Lindsy Hilsum about her reporting from Libya and her new book, Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution.  Middle East Children Alliance‘s associate director Ziad Abbas talks about Israel’s plans to demolish the entire palestinian village of Susya in the West bank.

tonight’s program special fund drive

Tonight, on Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, We will feature the documentary Goal Dreams, by Maya Sanbar and Jeffrey Saunders about the Palestinian national soccer team.

Trailer Goal Game :

Also, sports under occupation, a lecture by Dave Zirin will be aired.


additionnal ressources

what if Kobe Bryant were a imprisonned Palestinian soccer player? The nation, by Dave Zirin.



Remembering Edward Said; NIGHT OVER ERZINGA

Edward Said

Edward Said

On Sept 26th 2003, Palestinian Intellectual Edward Said passed away after a long battle with leukemia. We remember Professor Said by featuring an interview he did about his seminal work, Orientalism.

Anthony Alessandrini,  Jadalyyia EZine: Today marks the eighth anniversary of the passing of Edward Said. It is an anniversary that continues to fill me with a deep sense of melancholy, one shared, I know, by so many admirers of his work and his example ( read the the whole article)

Later in the program, we speak with Golden Thread Productions’ Founding Artistic Director Torange Yeghiazarian and International artist Hafiz Karmali about the play, NIGHT OVER ERZINGA.

Night Over Erzinga

Night Over Erzinga

NIGHT OVER ERZINGA, written by award winning playwright, Adriana Sevahn Nichols,tells the moving story of an immigrant family of Armenian and Dominican heritage, exploring how a man can lose everything but his heart, and how a grandmother can reach through time, to unearth the untold story, and bring her children “home.” Spanning two continents and three generations, from Western Armenia of 1913, to 1930’s Massachusetts, to 1960’s New York, ancestors are reunited with the living, as they each search for solace, and a way to make peace with the past.

NIGHT OVER ERZINGA is currently on stage at the South Side Theatre, Fort Mason Center, and San Francisco. For more information visit Golden Thread Theatre online.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Democracy in The Middle East and North Africa; Interview with Ilan Pappe

Ilan Pappe

Ilan Pappe

This week on Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, we talk about democracy in the MENA region; from Tunisia to Egypt, Syria to Iran, to Yemen and Bahrain and Libya. Does this concept extend to Israel and Palestine? Can democracy be reconciled with colonialism or is that a contradiction in terms?  We speak with prominent Israeli scholar Dr. Ilan Pappe who in his latest book “Out of The Frame” examines this question in depth. He recounts his political evolution from staunch Zionist as a youngster to liberated humanist as an adult. Ilan Pappe is a long time activist and is a professor of history at the University of Exeter. He is the Co-Director of the Exeter Center for Ethno-Political Studies and director of the European Center for Palestine Studies Center. He is the author of the best selling “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine“, “A History of Modern Palestine“, and “The Israel Palestine Question.”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Music featured on this week’s show: Anouar Brahem




Photographing the Palestinian Refugee Experience

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Would Have Smiled: Photographing the Palestinian refugee Experience

I Would Have Smiled: Photographing the Palestinian Refugee Experience (co-edited by Issam Nassar)

This week UC Berkeley history professor Beshara Doumani will have a discussion with Professor Issam Nassar of Illinois State University and co-editor of  the book, I Would Have Smiled:  Photographing the Palestinian Refugee Experience. A collection of essays from a variety of individuals discussing how images taken by Myrtle Winter-Chaumeny, a staff writer for UNHCR.


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.





Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wpburn.com wordpress themes