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  • Author: Ghada Karmi
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This essay examines the one-state alternative to the commonly accepted two-state solution, which has been the basis of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process since 1993. It reviews the prospects for success of the two-state solution and sets out the arguments for and against such a settlement. The history and interpretation of the one-state alternative, whether binational or secular democratic, are explored, and the future chances of its success assessed. The author finds that to date no "road map" exists for how to implement the one-state solution, without which it is likely to remain an idealistic dream. THIS ARTICLE IS WRITTEN against the background of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that began in Washington on 2 September 2010. The object of the talks, as of the peace process launched in 1993, is the termination of the conflict through the creation of a Palestinian state “alongside” Israel, that is, the two-state solution. However, changes on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1993 threaten to make such a solution unlikely, if not impossible. The Israeli colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem has so advanced as to make questionable the logistical possibility of creating a viable Palestinian state on the territory that remains. Yet there is an extraordinary reluctance on the part of most politicians concerned with the conflict to look the facts in the face and draw the obvious conclusion: A two-state solution that complies even with minimalist Palestinian requirements cannot emerge from the existing situation. Rather like Hans Christian Andersen's tale of the emperor's new clothes, none of them is willing to see the naked truth. As the feasibility of the two-state solution recedes, the debate has turned to the one-state alternative, often as an undesirable outcome of last resort failing implementation of the preferred option. Both sides have used it as a threat against those standing in the way of the two-state solution. Israel's former prime minister Ehud Olmert, for example, told Ha'Aretz on 30 November 2007 that if the two-state solution collapsed, leading to a South African-style struggle for equal rights, Israel would be “finished.” And former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurai' declared in 2004 that if the two-state solution became impossible, Palestinians would have to aim for one state. Whatever the motivation, the idea of a unitary state has attracted renewed interest. In fact, the idea of sharing the land between Arabs and Jews is older than that of the two-state solution, which is a recent notion in Palestinian history that emerged in response to a series of defeats for the Palestinian national movement. Though never totally absent from the debate about a solution, the unitary state has increasingly become part of mainstream political discourse. A number of one-state groups have come into being, half a dozen conferences have been held, and a growing literature on the topic has appeared. Given the reality on the ground in what remains of Palestine, the uncertainty of success for peace negotiations aimed at two states, and the precariousness of the political situation, it would be irresponsible not to seriously examine the one-state alternative. THE EVOLUTION OF THE TWO-STATE IDEA The two-state solution has become something of a mantra for all those involved in the peace process. But the proposition that it is the ultimate solution, to the point of obviating the need to consider others, is neither true nor consonant with elementary notions of justice. Not only does it divide the Palestinians' historic homeland into grossly unequal parts, made possible by coercion and force of arms, it also forecloses any meaningful return for the refugees driven out. The idea that it could reasonably settle a conflict whose very basis is dispossession and injustice without addressing those issues is, to say the least, unrealistic. The two-state solution is in fact a recent position for Palestinians, who always rejected the idea of partition as a device used by Britain and later the UN and Western states for accommodating Zionist ambitions in the country. Today's Western support for a two-state solution springs fundamentally from the same motives. The Zionists first proposed partition to the Mandate authorities as far back as 1928, when the Jewish population of the country was 20 percent. In 1937 the Peel Commission, set up by the British Government to find a solution for the conflict between Jews and Arabs in Mandate Palestine, recommended that the country be divided into Jewish and Arab states. In 1947, the partition of Palestine was enshrined in UN General Assembly resolution 18, which was passed thanks to overwhelming U.S. pressure and against strong Arab opposition. The Palestinians at the time saw partition as an outrageous assault on the integrity of their country and an undeserved gift to a newly arrived immigrant Jewish minority imposed on them. This remained the Palestinian position after 1948, when the aim of the newly formed PLO in 1964 was “the recovery of the usurped homeland in its entirety,” as the preamble to the 1964 Palestine National Charter phrased it. It was the 1967 war, which spectacularly demonstrated Israel's superior military power, (not to mention its staunch Western support), that forced a change in the Palestinian position. The question of partition returned implicitly to the national agenda in 1974, precipitated by the peace negotiations that followed the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, offering hope of a comprehensive settlement and a role for the PLO. At its twelfth meeting, the Palestine National Council (PNC) formally resolved to set up a “national, independent and fighting authority on every part of Palestinian land to be liberated” from Israeli occupation. Although there was no mention of a Palestinian state as such, the resolution paved the way for new thinking about the future. This was reflected in the next PNC meeting in 1977, which called for “an independent national state” on the land with no reference to its total liberation. By 1981, the PNC had welcomed a Russian proposal for the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the idea of a two-state solution was gaining ground.
  • Political Geography: Britain, Washington, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section aims to give readers a glimpse of how the Arab world views current events that affect Palestinians and the Arab-Israeli conflict by presenting a selection of cartoons from al-Hayat, the most widely distributed mainstream daily in the Arab world. JPS is grateful to al-Hayat for permission to reprint its material.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: B1. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Foreward to "Homestretch to Freedom: The Second Year of the 13th Government Program Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State," Ramallah, August 2010.1
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Norbert Scholz
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section lists articles and reviews of books relevant to Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Entries are classified under the following headings: Reference and General; History (through 1948) and Geography; Palestinian Politics and Society; Jerusalem; Israeli Politics, Society, and Zionism; Arab and Middle Eastern Politics; International Relations; Law; Military; Economy, Society, and Education; Literature, Arts, and Culture; Book Reviews; and Reports Received.
  • Topic: Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section aims to give readers a glimpse of how the Arab world views current events that affect Palestinians and the Arab-Israeli conflict by presenting a selection of cartoons from al-Hayat, the most widely distributed mainstream daily in the Arab world. JPS is grateful to al-Hayat for permission to reprint its material.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The Quarterly Update is a summary of bilateral, multilateral, regional, and international events affecting the Palestinians and the future of the peace process. More than 100 print, wire, television, and online sources providing U.S., Israeli, Arab, and international independent and government coverage of unfolding events are surveyed to compile the Quarterly Update. The most relevant sources are cited in JPS's Chronology section, which tracks events day by day. 16 November 2010–15 February 2011
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Norbert Scholz
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section lists articles and reviews of books relevant to Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Entries are classified under the following headings: Reference and General; History (through 1948) and Geography; Palestinian Politics and Society; Jerusalem; Israeli Politics, Society, and Zionism; Arab and Middle Eastern Politics; International Relations; Law; Military; Economy, Society, and Education; Literature, Arts, and Culture; Book Reviews; and Reports Received.
  • Topic: Environment, Politics, Culture
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Geremy Forman
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In the mid-1950s, the overwhelmingly Arab central Galilee became the first regional focus of Israeli land-claiming in the context of state efforts to Judaize the region. This article examines the land-related judicial doctrines adopted by the Israeli Supreme Court through the early 1960s that facilitated this endeavor. While previous academic work on the evolution of these doctrines depicts a “horizontal” process proceeding from one SC precedent to another, this article employs a “vertical” approach that focuses on the role of litigant argument and lower-court rulings. The main finding is that in these disputes, SC justices did not merely rule in favor of the state, but consistently adopted the legal arguments advanced by the state, transforming them into SC doctrine and the law of the land. IN THE LATE 1950s, the central Galilee became the site of a judicial battle over land rights between the Israeli government and the region's Palestinian inhabitants. The thousands of legal disputes were products of the ongoing struggle between Jews and Arabs over land in the country that began under Ottoman rule and intensified during the British Mandate over Palestine. With the flight and expulsion of much of the country's Arab population and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the struggle was transformed into one between the new Jewish state and its Palestinian minority, with Israeli officials using state-held land to intensify Jewish control and state law to expand beyond recognition the stock of land available for this purpose. A pivotal component of Israeli law that enabled the state to increase its landholdings, first in the Galilee and subsequently in other regions, was the land-related judicial doctrines institutionalized by the Israeli Supreme Court (SC) in the early 1960s, just as the judicial struggle over land in the Galilee was reaching its height. These doctrines expanded the legal definition of state land employed during land-title settlement and limited the ability of private claimants to acquire title, thereby strengthening the hand of the government at the expense of local residents. Because the lion's share of unregistered land in Israel was located in predominantly Arab areas, and because most land registered in the name of the state during the process was designated for Jewish settlement, these doctrines must be understood as having helped provide the territorial foundations for Judaization and shape Jewish-Arab ethnonational geographies of power in the young country. Although these doctrines' histories have been explored elsewhere, this article examines their evolution from a different perspective. Instead of approaching the doctrines primarily as SC creations and following their evolution “horizontally,” from one SC precedent to another as most legal scholars do, I focus on the origins of the fundamental principles by investigating the sources of the key ideas advanced by the authoring justices. This line of inquiry is particularly relevant, because a major point of contention in the writings of Israeli legal scholars has been the degree to which these justices were influenced by state interests and Zionist ideology, an arguably futile debate considering the absence of documentary evidence regarding the justices' inner thoughts and motivations at the time. However, by expanding exploration “vertically” beyond legal scholarship's traditional focus on upper-court rulings and incorporating the lower courts into our analysis, we gain a relatively clear understanding of where justices got their ideas. Although this vertical approach makes intuitive sense, I was nonetheless surprised by the consistency of my findings. In each doctrine examined for this article—the admissibility of aerial photographs, the “50-percent rule,” and the tripartite changes regarding Mewat land—lower-court rulings were by far the most important source of the arguments advanced by the authoring justices. And these rulings, in turn, most often replicated the arguments of Israeli state attorneys. In this way, doctrines evolved not only horizontally from one SC ruling to another, but also (and, in most cases, primarily) vertically, between the lower court (in this case, the Haifa District Court) and the SC. Moreover, while focusing on the horizontal evolution of these doctrines based on SC rulings alone may leave the sources of justices' ideas shrouded and unclear, exploring their vertical evolution based on lower-court and SC archives reveals a clear flow of doctrinal components from initial litigant arguments before the lower courts to the institutionalization of binding judicial doctrine. A vertical approach to the evolution of judicial doctrine has far-reaching implications for our understanding of Israeli executive-branch influence on the land-related judicial doctrines of the late 1950s and early 1960s. In contrast to previous scholarship, which concentrates on the degree to which doctrines favored state claims, factors motivating justices' rulings, and SC interventions, this approach focuses on the role of litigant argument and lower-court rulings in doctrine evolution. My main finding is that, in these disputes, SC justices did not simply rule in favor of the state but rather consistently adopted the legal arguments advanced by the state, transforming them into SC doctrine and the law of the land. The State of Israel v. the Palestinians of the Galilee: “Playing for Rules” during the Special Land Settlement Operation By the mid-1950s, the overwhelmingly Arab central Galilee had become the focal point of the Jewish-Arab struggle over land and the first regional focus of Israeli state land-claiming. There were two reasons for this. First, the area was almost all Palestinian in population and land ownership and had not been allocated to the proposed Jewish state by the 1947 UN partition plan. Although the Galilee (like most Arab areas of the country) remained under military rule between 1948 and 1966, many Israeli officials still regarded the demographic and sociospatial conditions there as a threat to Israeli security and sovereignty. It was in this context that efforts to “Judaize the Galilee” through Jewish settlement began in the early 1950s. Second, the region had not yet undergone settlement of title, or “land settlement”—a comprehensive system of survey, mapping, private and state land-claiming, and land registration initiated by the Mandate government and adopted by Israel in 1948. According to the terms of the system, this meant that the state's recognition of ownership rights in the region had not yet been finalized. From the outset, securing title of state-owned land to ensure sufficient territory for Judaization of the Galilee was a major Israeli concern. To this end, government agencies embarked on a systematic campaign of state land-claiming in the region. The land claimed by the state in the Galilee fell into two general categories: 1) privately owned Palestinian land expropriated en masse in the wake of the 1948 war, claimed by the Custodian of Absentee Property (CAP) and the Development Authority; and 2) “unassigned state land,” a term used by state authorities to refer to various types of land to which bare title was held by the state and to which individuals were unable to establish private rights to the satisfaction of the authorities. Israeli officials were troubled by the incomplete nature of the Galilee land registries and their belief that, since 1948, Galilee Arabs had “seized” large areas of state land. In 1954, these officials began calling on the government to accelerate Galilee land settlement to clarify the situation.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Maha Nassar
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article traces the evolving discourse on the "right of refugee return"among the Palestinian citizens of Israel during the first decade of Israeli statehood, with emphasis on the role of the local Arabic press in shaping and reflecting that discourse. More particularly, it focuses on al-Ittihad, the organ of the communist party (MAKI), which paid the greatest attention to the refugee issue. In tracing the party's shift from a humanistic/anti-imperialist stance on the issue to one emphasizing the refugees' inalienable right to return, the article sheds light on MAKI's political strategy vis-à-vis the Palestinian minority. It also illustrates the political vibrancy in the early years of the community, generally viewed simplistically in terms of a pre-1967 quiescence and post-1967 politicization. In late autumn 1959, Saliba Khamis, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Communist Party (ha-Miflagah ha-Komunist ha-Yisra'ilit-MAKI) central committee, wrote an essay in the party's Arabic-language newspaper, al-Ittihad (The Union), reviewing the ongoing attempts to compensate and resettle Palestinian refugees outside Israel. In his view, such offers would never succeed because of "the vigilance of the refugees themselves and their strong insistence on their right to return to their country." Khamis's invocation of "rights" (huquq) permeated his analysis, appearing fourteen times in his half-page essay.# His comments also reflected a shift in thinking of many Palestinian MAKI leaders during the first decade of Israeli statehood. As the only legal non-Zionist party during the 1950s, MAKI was the political home for many Palestinian citizens of Israel who held Arab nationalist beliefs but had no other outlet for political expression. Like its predecessor, the Palestine Communist Party (PCP), MAKI's platform stressed internationalism and Arab-Jewish brotherhood, though disagreements over the party's attitude toward Arab and Jewish nationalism occasionally led to tensions within the party. In 1944, Arab leaders broke away from the PCP to form the National Liberation League (NLL), which had a closer affinity to Arab nationalist positions. Although the Jewish and Arab branches reunited in 1948 to form MAKI, such disputes once again led to the party's split in 1965 into the predominantly Jewish MAKI and largely Arab RAKAH parties. During the period under review, MAKI's Arab and Jewish leaders worked together to maintain an internationalist outlook while tailoring their political messages to appeal to their respective communities. Given the disproportionately large Arab makeup of the party, MAKI's Arab leaders used their party's publications to enhance their reputation as the champion of Israel's Palestinian minority and to convince readers to vote for MAKI in parliamentary elections. While we cannot know with certainty how widespread the views expressed in al-Ittihad actually were, a close review of the paper gives us insight into the political positions MAKI leaders believed would resonate in the Palestinian community, thus providing us with a useful lens through which to examine Palestinian political discourse in Israel during its early years. Reports and editorials that appeared in al-Ittihad throughout this period show how two threads in the discourse on return developed, crystallized, and ultimately converged. Initially, the few articles written on this subject were by party leaders with a strong pro-Soviet tilt and were aimed at convincing Israeli decision makers to allow refugees to return to their original homes and lands on humanistic and anti-imperialist grounds. However, by 1959, a host of regional and domestic factors led al-Ittihad to emphasize the collective and inalienable right of Palestinian refugees-both the "external" refugees mainly in the surrounding states and the "internal" refugees still in Israel but prevented from returning to their villages-to do so. These factors included mounting Palestinian calls for the right of return, which, coupled with growing Soviet support on the issue, gave MAKI some of the political cover it needed to take a stronger stance. At the same time, competition with the newly formed Arab nationalist group al-Ard and the leftist-Zionist party MAPAM for the political support of Palestinian Israelis, along with pressure from internal refugees themselves, further convinced MAKI's Arab leaders to emphasize the refugees' right of return-a position they have held ever since. This confluence of domestic and regional developments makes 1959 a useful endpoint for our discussion of MAKI's transformation. Understanding how and why these changes occurred not only gives us keen insight into the dynamics of Palestinian activism in Israel during this early period but also demonstrates that the direction of this activism was often bottom-up rather than top-down. Furthermore, it shows how al-Ittihad helped connect the geographically and politically isolated Palestinians in Israel to the rest of the Arab world, paving the way for a reunited Palestinian political entity in the post-1967 era. The refugee issue is one of the most contentious of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Palestinians have long argued they have a legal right to return to their homes in historic Palestine. This was based in part on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provision, "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country," as well as on UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (III), which recognizes "that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property."Israel, however, has maintained that Palestinians do not have a legal right to return and that a solution to the refugee problem must be part of a broader peace agreement focused on the resettlement of refugees. While Israel did allow a few thousand refugees to be repatriated under family reunification provisions negotiated at the Lausanne conference in 1949, it has resisted pressures to accept large numbers of refugees since then. Much of what has been written on the Palestinian refugees has focused on the origins of the problem and their prospects for return. Studies of internal Palestinian refugees in Israel have outlined the mechanisms by which they were deprived of access to their lands and their own attempts to return. Less attention has been paid to how Palestinians in Israel viewed the refugee issue as a whole, especially during the early years of the state. One reason for this may be the fact that Palestinian citizens of Israel are often viewed as having been quiescent prior to 1967, whereas after 1967, exposure to Palestinians in the newly occupied territories and in exile led them to challenge government policies more forcefully. This was certainly true to some degree: the military government imposed on the community between 1948 and 1966, coupled with land confiscations, economic discrimination, and travel restrictions, greatly hindered any attempt at political mobilization during that period. Nonetheless, bisecting the political history of Palestinian Israelis into "pre-1967" and "post-1967" periods glosses over more nuanced developments within the community during the early years of the state. Among the aims of the present study is to determine when the concept of "right of return" became commonly used in MAKI's discourses on refugees.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Noha Radwan
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Shi'r al-'ammiyya is a poetry movement whose emergence in Egypt in the early 1950s coincided with the heyday of Nasser's revolution, when the Palestine question was a national concern. With numerous practitioners today, the movement has yielded a large corpus of colloquial poetry that has become a significant part of Egypt's cultural landscape. This article presents a historical survey of shi'r al-'ammiyya's best known poets—Fu'ad Haddad, Salah Jahin, and 'Abd al-Rahman al-Abnudi—and their poems on Palestine. Among the essay's aims is to dispel the common misconception that the use of colloquial Egyptian ('ammiyya denotes parochial rather than pan-Arab concerns, with the standard (fusha) Arabic seen as a signifier of pan-Arab identity. In an essay on the poetics of Arab nationalist literature, Palestinian scholar Yasir Suleiman recalled a scene from his childhood: I remember as a little boy going to see an Egyptian film about Jamila with my cousins in . . . Jerusalem in the late 1950s. The whole cinema was in tears and people spoke about Jamila's legendary courage and the barbarity of the French for weeks after that. The film helped make the struggle of the Algerian people 'real' and made us all feel 'Algerian.' When we related the story of the film to my mother, she said 'We are all in the same boat.' We all understood what she meant: Algeria is Palestine and Palestine is Algeria. As a tool of mobilization, the film was very successful indeed. < The film to which Suleiman is referring is Jamila al-Jaza'iriyya (Jamila The Algerian, 1958) by the Egyptian director Yusuf Chahine. That the movie was a “tool of mobilization” against the Zionist occupation of Palestine as well as against the French occupation of Algeria was not an accident, any more than was the choice of Egyptian colloquial, 'ammiyya, for the movie dialogue. There is no need to speculate about whether the Algerian people's struggle would have been any less “real” for the Jerusalem audience if Chahine had chosen to use the literary, fusha, register for his film, or about whether the Jerusalemites would have identified more with the “Algerians” had the actors spoken the Algerian dialect, impenetrable to Palestinians. It is enough to point out that the choice of the Egyptian colloquial seemed so “natural” that it did not even warrant mention by Suleiman, whose interest in the film lay in its emotive and political impact on a Palestinian audience. Chahine's Jamila spoke to the entire Arab audience from the “ocean to the gulf” in a language familiar to them from Egypt's robust cinema industry and radio, the period's most powerful tool of mass communication. As Albert Hourani wrote, This was the age of radio too. Radio sets were imported on a large scale in the 1940s and 1950s. By 1959 there were 850,000 in Egypt and half a million in Morocco, and each set might be listened to by dozens of people, in cafes or village squares. . . . Every government had its own radio station. . . . A large proportion of the programmes sent out by all stations—talks, music and plays—originated in Cairo, and they too spread a knowledge of Egypt and its ways of speech. . . . Certain Egyptian voices became familiar everywhere—that of the country's ruler, Jamal 'Abd al-Nasir, and that of the most famous of Egyptian singers, Umm Kulthum; when she sang, the whole Arab world listened. It was in this sociolinguistic milieu that shi'r al-'ammiyya al-misriyya, an Egyptian poetry movement, one of whose main characteristics is its use of colloquial Egyptian, emerged in the early 1950s. A Modern Movement and Its Antecedents Shi'r al-'ammiyya poets wrote on a variety of themes, but the poems analyzed in this article concern only the Zionist occupation of Palestine, its calamitous consequences, and Arab reaction to these events. These poems establish their authors' commitment to the Palestinian struggle for liberation and the role Egypt must assume in this struggle, a commitment taken here as signifying an embrace of a pan-Arabist political agenda. Any ostensible discrepancy between embracing a pan-Arabist agenda and the choice of the colloquial over the literary language hailed as a hallmark of Arab identity can be dispelled through knowledge of the special status enjoyed by the Egyptian colloquial since the 1940s. On the literary spectrum, it is important to note that shi'r al-'ammiyya is not an extension of earlier traditions or movements using colloquial verse. Rather, it is a modern movement that originated in the 1950s in the poetry of Fu'ad Haddad (1927–1985) and Salah Jahin (1930–1986), poets infused by the new poetic sensibilities of the wider movement of modern/modernist Arabic poetry of the late 1940s. Colloquial poetic expression has existed in multiple folkloric forms at least since the early Abbasid period in the ninth century, and many of these forms continue to enjoy wide popularity in Egypt and other parts of the Arab world. As will be seen below, the poets of shi'r al-'ammiyya at times engage these colloquial traditions, but as part of the engagement with tradition shared by modern/modernist Arabic poetry movements as a whole. In this respect, it is important to distinguish shi'r al-'ammiyya from two earlier movements of colloquial Egyptian verse that were part of the Egyptian cultural landscape at the time when shi'r al-'ammiyya's emerged. The first is a modern manifestation of the poetic genre zajal as practiced by Bayram al-Tunisi (1893–1961) and an earlier generation of zajal composers whose works were widely published between the mid-nineteenth and the early decades of the twentieth century. The second is best represented by the poems of Louis 'Awad (1915–1994), an Oxford-educated Egyptian writer, critic, and professor of English literature in his collection Blutuland wa qasa'id ukhra (Plutoland and Other Poems), in which several of the poems are in the colloquial register. The zajal genre had been most popular during the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries in many parts of the Arab world and survives today, especially as a Lebanese folkloric tradition. In mid-nineteenth-century Egypt, zajal reemerged in a large number of popular newspapers. Its practitioners, known as zajjalun, were mostly urban and well versed in the literary register, but they found in zajal's colloquial register an effective medium of communication and mass mobilization in the service of social and political reform. Among the best known zajjalun of that period were 'Abdallah al-Nadim (1854–1896) and Ya'coub Sannu' (1839–1912). But it was in the hands of al-Tunisi that the Egyptian zajal, deployed in the service of social reform and the assertion of the Egyptian national character, reached an unprecedented degree of versatility and popularity. A number of al-Tunisi's zajals remain an important part of Egyptian popular culture. In contrast, Awad's poetry was part of a short-lived call by some Egyptian intellectuals to adopt the colloquial as a means to disengage Egyptian literature from the larger Arabic literary tradition and thus give it a distinctive and separate Egyptian national character. This went counter to the Arab nationalist identity then gaining ground, which insisted on the use of a common literary Arabic. Sati' al-Husri's (1880–1968) statement that “Every Arabic-speaking people is an Arab people” remains the most widely accepted definition of Arab identity. Al-Husri regarded the colloquial as divisive and called upon all Arab literati “to understand fully the umma's (nation's) need for a unified and unifying language and to hold on to fusha.” Resistance to this linguistic affiliation was fomented in Egypt by writers and intellectuals such as Salama Musa (1887–1958), who argued that “standard Arabic cannot serve as a medium of the national literature of Egypt and should therefore give way to a refined colloquial language.” 'Awad's call in his introduction to Blutuland for a break from Arabic poetics and the standard literary Arabic was a continuation of this ideological stance, but neither Awad's poetry nor his larger cause found much appeal with the Egyptian public.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Arabia, Egypt