The documentary, Promises, introduced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the perspective of seven children. The film’s initiator, B.Z. Goldberg, initially interviews seven children, but gradually convinces the children to meet with peers of the opposite side in the conflict. Finally, by synthesizing the opinions of the children, the film achieves a lasting message at the end of the film -- everyone involved in the conflict is a human being, and thus one’s religion does not reflect his or her personality. Rather than enforcing this message upon the participants, the film has the children discover what it is like to be the person they hate -- a discovery which rather lingers throughout the subconscious of the film.
As a normal American citizen, we are not accustomed to being forced out of our homes and having to live as nomads like the people of Syria have been living like since the Arab spring of 2011 the event that started what is now known as The Syrian Civil War. This war has literally been tearing apart Syria and displacing 6.3 million people (Mercy corps). This crisis affects a lot of Syrian individuals including one Doaa Al Zamel. In the book “A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea” we get a firsthand account of what life was like before the start of the war and also a view during the civil war and gives insight to life in the current state of Syria. Doaa’s life in “A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea” had her moving around the Middle East for most of her early adulthood. Throughout her moves to different parts of the Middle East she had many experiences both good and bad. The government, daily life in the Middle East, and family problems that arose during the moves affected Doaa’s life greatly.
Do we really know how it feels when you’re loved ones are killed in a war or when you will stop breathing? No matter how sad we become after listening to their painful stories, we can’t really feel the pain or problems that the victim’s relatives had gone through. The Road to Chlifa, novel illustrated by Michele Marineau describes the story about a boy who lives in Beirut Lebanon, a country that has been in the civil war for fifteen years. Karim expresses the theme of isolation, through his feelings for Nada. The protagonist in the novel is Karim, 17-year-old boy who lost the girl whom he loved, during the war, and the antagonist is the war occurring in Lebanon and also the school that Karim attends in Montreal. Karim left lonely after his parents went to Montreal, then Bachir moved to Paris and the one whom he loved died.
‘Wild Thorns’ by Sahar Khalifeh is an insightful commentary that brings to life the Palestinian struggle under the Israeli Occupation and embodies this conflict through the different perspectives brought forth by the contrasting characters. We are primarily shown this strife through the eyes of the principal character, the expatriate Usama, as well as the foil character of his cousin, Adil. Khalifeh skillfully uses literary devices such as emotive language, allusions and positive and negative connotations to highlight life under the Occupation. As the audience, these techniques help encourage us to consider the struggle more in depth, and due to the wide variety of characters, invite us to relate to them.
The film The Sea Inside shares the heart warming real life story of a man named Ramon Sampedro. At the young age of twenty-six he suffered an accident while diving into shallow waters of the ocean that left him a quadriplegic. Now at the age of fifty-four, Ramon must depend on his family to survive. His older brother Jose, Jose’s wife, Manuela and their son Javi do their best to take care of Ramon and make him feel loved. Although Ramon is extremely grateful to his family and friends for their help all these years, he has come to see his life as aggravating and unsatisfying. He wishes to die with the little dignity he has left in his life. However, Ramon’s family is dead set against the thought of assisted suicide and the
Although James Joyce short story “Araby” might be seen as a straightforward love story which ends up in failure, it discusses more issues than just love and failure. The concept of capitalism and materialism are also depicted in the story through the use of young boy who became immersed in a culture that believes in capitalism. Through this, the readers experience a unique journey a poor and discouraged person.
For a near-championship boxer to fall from the limelight after a defeat is fairly common, but to lose due to his own brother betting against him is unheard of. Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront portrays the role of this former fighter living his life as a bum under a local mob boss. This movie stands out from how movies are portrayed today. It didn’t have a lot of fast chase scenes, immense battles, or over-the-top special effects. This movie focused on its characters, by portraying their reactions to the cumbersome niche they play on the dockyard. It was driven by a series of intertwined conflicts, and a strong mix of character development and storytelling, and made for a phenomenal piece of art.
Many historical fiction novels recall well-known tragedies, but there is one novel in particular that tells the story of a covered catastrophe. Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys focuses on telling the unknown story of “the greatest maritime disaster in history,” the sinking of a German ship, the Wilhelm Gustoff, during World War II. Throughout telling the story, Sepetys portrays the theme of perseverance, as the characters face many challenges, but never give up. Despite the growing popularity of this novel, Sepetys did not gain her reputation from Salt to the Sea. Rather, she became the author she is today from her previously published novels, Between Shades of Grey and Out of the Easy. Septeys was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, but she is part Lithuanian. Growing up in the United States allowed Septeys the ability to attend Hillsdale College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in international finance. Like many others, I learned of Septeys’ work through her other novels. I have read both Between Shades of Grey and Out of the Easy, and thoroughly enjoyed them. Because I enjoyed her other works in a great deal, Salt to the Sea immediately made my “to-read” list. For this project, I knew I wanted to read a novel I would enjoy, and Salt to the Sea was sure to not disappoint.
Joe Sacco's graphic novel, Palestine, deals with the repercussions of the first intifada in Israel/Palestine/the Holy Land. The story follows the author through the many refugee camps and towns around Palestine as he tries to gather information, stories, and pictures to construct his graphic novel. While the book is enjoyable at a face level, there are many underlying themes conveyed throughout its illustrated pages and written text.
Novels intrigue anyone, whether it brings in the intellectuals or the ones who prefer to fantasize. Azar Nafisi, the author of Reading Lolita In Tehran, hooks the audience, page after page, filled with fascinating details of her and her loved ones life experiences of the perplexities that make up the society all together. Throughout the book, each chapter presents a new message as it introduces a new novel with each one. Nafisi introduces novels in order to create a different, separate life within the reader, creating memories and experiences unique to the combination of the books and the reader. This changes what the reader believes, no matter whether the differences are positive or negative, life changing or miniscule, it will still always change what the reader believes.
The concept of “making the hidden visible” allows the reader to understand the Israeli revolution in a way that is has not been viewed before (Chute 106). Through the strategic use of graphic novels it demonstrates the way that she experienced it first hand without the interruption of western style media. Graphic novels take away any assumptions that you may make about the revolution while reading it because you have the image right in front of you and there is no way for it to be misinterpreted. Due to the large impact that media has on the viewpoints and ideas of western citizens the westerns perspective of what is true and what doesn’t exist has
Furthermore, the Israeli occupation of Palestine that the film depicts is a part of the 2000-2005 second intifada between the two nations (Manekin, 2013). Nablus, in Palestine is where Said and Khaled are based, and the mission is to take place in Tel Aviv across the border. A noticeable feature of the movie is the concept of deadness, the two main characters are not suicidal but the life they are trapped in has created a sense of them being dead already (Nashef, 2016) this is represented by the oppression and the lack of opportunity that is present. This theme can be further seen in their town – Nablus. Due to the conflict, the landscape and infrastructure is bleak, destroyed and very much discarded. The depiction of the lifestyle experienced during that period of conflict, highlighted to me potential motivations.
Throughout the various texts and films we observed this semester, there were a multitude of underlying themes associated with each. These themes do not live in a textual or film related vacuum, but rather offer major implications on given Middle Eastern cultures. In the fictional film Offside, directed by Jafar Panahi, he decides to zero in on the complex culture within Iran. He illustrates the culture within Iran by employing the 2006 World Cup qualifying soccer match between Iran and Bahrain as a metaphor of the various social dynamics attached to this sporting event and the country as a whole. That said, there are numerous underlying themes associated with this film. In this paper, however, I will
Abdelrahman Munif, a Jordanian born Saudi novelist, wrote a novel called ‘Cities of Salt’. It is a monumental novel that tells the story of the discovery of oil. Encountering the vicious arrival of the global, political and economic modernity to an unnamed Persian Gulf kingdom is the main point of Munif in this novel. Munif described the migration of the villagers as their traditional lands are destroyed, and their way of living is thrown into disarray by the foreigners – Americans, through invasion of modern technology, cultural gaps, and a whole new bunch of the local economy. He has exercised an unconventional format in novel by declining a clear protagonist or even its mixture. Leading characters of the novel in its first dozen chapters are gone by the final third of the book, despite the formation of main characters. The valley that is destroyed in the beginning and later the town of Harran that goes from a backwater to booming oil valley or town. Where the novel’s all fiction
The graphic novel Palestine, published by Maltan journalist Joe Sacco in the early ‘90s, is a journalistic piece that represents his recollections of two months spent talking to and living with Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The casual narrative style, which some might say is too shallow for such heavy subject matter, in fact allows Sacco to avoid many of the pit falls that have made Western reporting on non-Western conflicts unhelpful at the very least and more often incredibly damaging.