Friday, April 05, 2024

Palestinian health institutions under attack: 1978, Lebanon.

Interesting film, "Palestine Red Crescent Society" (1979, dir. Monica Maurer and Samir Nimer). Filmed in 1978 in Lebanon, it examines the development and the work of the PRCS. Its work encompasses not just pre-natal health and "normal" medical functions, but also the treatment of the wounded and the rehabilitation clinics that handle those mutilated or left handicap by periodic Israeli attacks and the Lebanese Civil War. Attacks on Palestinian health infrastructure did not start in Gaza in 2023.... 

Monday, March 18, 2024

#kufiyaspotting again

I'm gonna try to get back to logging kufiya related incidents. Kufiya wearing has really blown up since October 7 (no pun intended), and I've been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of material. But here is a start. Did this really happen? Who knows, but it the report is indicative of a wider trend.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Americans in Lebanon march for Palestinian right of return, April 1973

This is an AP wire photo that I purchased off of ebay a couple years back. I don't know whether the photo ever showed up in any news report on the event. A group of Americans, I don't think belonging to any particular organization, put on this event, a two-day march to Sidon. The following year they organized another march, from Sidon to Tyre. (That's me in the middle, with the headband.) I was too involved in marriage preparations to go. The following spring, 1975, no march was organized, it was the early days of the civil war. Two things I notice here: (1) the woman next to me (whose name I forget) is wearing a kufiya, reminding me that expats in Beirut would do this in the early 70s, and (2) I'm carrying a plastic bag from the Rebeiz record store, one of the two best record stores in Beirut at the time. It should be noted that the march proceeded just a few days after Israeli special forces entered West Beirut and assassinated three PLO officials: Muhammad al-Najjar, Kamal Adwan, and Kamal Nasser.

Monday, February 05, 2024

#kufiyaspotting: Esperanza Spalding at the Grammys (+ watermelons: Aja Monet + artists4ceasefire: boygenius and Annie Lennox)

At the Grammys last night, jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding (double nominee)

showed her support for the Palestinians by donning a kufiya.

Also: poet Aja Monet, up for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album, carried a watermelon clutch.

and...boygenius wore arists4ceasefire pins.

And finally, Annie Lennox gave a shoutout for #ceasefire


Sunday, December 31, 2023

#kufiyaspotting: John Lennon, Bermuda, 1980

October 7 and its aftermath have produced multiple kufiya spottings, and a fair bit of news coverage. I've been too overwhelmed by the events to get on the blog to write about it. I will try to make more of an effort in future, but all I can promise is dribs and drabs. This represents some housekeeping, in fact, a photo that has been on my hard drive for some time but never managed to post.

John Lennon spent some time in Bermuda in 1980. A friend sent me this photo, found on reddit. The description says only this: "new release photo, on deck, Bermuda June 1980." Do we presume then that John was on some yacht, and needed to cover himself from the sun, or protect himself from the wind. And why did he use a kufiya? Kufiyas were starting to become somewhat common street wear in US urban areas by the early eighties, as I've written about elsewhere, so I guess it was simply something he came across in New York City, where he lived. That's all I've got! Check out the photo: 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

My book chapter, "The Kufiya" (2021) available here as a pdf

 My book chapter, "The Kufiya," published in  Asef Bayat and Linda Herrera, Global Middle East: Into the Twenty-First Century, University of California Press, 2021, is now available here, as a pdf.

Note that there is even a kufiya on the cover of the book! (On the shoulders of Edward Said, from a mural.)

 Note too that if you search this blog there is lots of kufiya/kaffiyeh/keffiyeh content.

My kufiya article from 1992: "Seeing Double: Palestinian/American Histories of the Kufiya"

 My 1992 article, “Seeing Double: Palestinian-American Histories of the Kufiya,” published in Michigan Quarterly Review 31(4): 557-577, can now be found here, as a pdf. It also appeared in the Michigan Quarterly Review's 60th anniversary issue--60(1): 341-362 in 2021.

Sunday, July 09, 2023

Cheikha Rimitti Scopitone!


Watch it here.

 This is courtesy the FaceBook page (which I hope you can access) of the Archives Numérique du Cinéma Algérien, who say about it:

"Alors voici un document extrêmement rare et inédit sur internet: il s'agit d'un large extrait d'un scopitone de Cheikha Remitti tourné très probablement au début des années 1970 et dans lequel elle interprète le morceau "Aïn Kahla".
Nous sommes très heureux de partager avec vous ce document qui nous parait tout à fait exceptionnel.
Si vous reconnaissez le lieu de tournage n'hésitez pas à nous l'indiquer. S'agit-il de l'ouest algérien, d'un village du nord marocain, difficile à dire...
MAJ 22h08 : le film aurait été tourné à Debdou à l'est du Maroc, un grand merci à Nehams Ta pour la recherche
Un grand merci à la cinémathèque de Saint-Etienne de nous avoir permis de numériser ce scopitone au format super 8mm issu de notre collection."
For those of you who don't know French, the key points: it's an extract of a Cheikh Remitti scopitone, probably shot in the beginning of the 1970s, a segment of her song "Aïn Kahla." Filmed in the town of Debdou in eastern Morocco. (My guess is that the Algerian government would not have allowed, or made it very difficult, to film a Scopitone there.)