ONLINE CLASS: Understanding MENA: Arab-Jews: Flight and Return (2090)

Five Tuesdays: September 8, 22, October 6, 20, (skilp November 3) add Nov. 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Price: 
$135.00 (10% off for members)

Here is another series of classes under the main heading of attempting to understand the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) through literature written by its authors. We have explored various themes such as: the Arab Uprisings, memoirs, exile & migration, and explorers; and specific countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Morocco, - now it is time to examine the history, politics, society and culture of the region’s Arab-Jews. My friend Marcia wrote the following which encouraged me to explore the literature (fiction and non-fiction) about Arab-Jews, and their abrupt flight (departure) from their homelands to face a new diaspora around world or to the newly established state of Israel after 1948.

“For decades, Arab Jews went missing from Arabic films and novels. This loud absence followed the Jewish exodus from Cairo, Damascus and other cities around the region. Before the second world war, Jews had seemed an eternal part of the Arab cultural fabric. In the early 20th century, Baghdad’s Jews had made up one-third of the city’s population, and were prominent in the arts, commerce and city administration.” Wrote Marcia Lynx Qualey, 29th October 2014 in The Guardian newspaper. https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/oct/29/renaissance-arab-jews-arabic-novels-ali-bader-mohammad-al-ahmed

Arab Jews have been absent in the evolution of the Arab Middle East since post WWII… and now, interestingly enough, we are seeing a “return”. So please join me on this journey to discover who are Arab-Jews; why, how, and when did they leave their homes and where are they today? and are they coming back to the Arab world? We will do this through the stories of individuals and families from Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Morocco and Tunisia. Note date adjustments. Five Tuesdays: September 8, 22, October 6, 20, (skilp November 3) add Nov. 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Online Class.

Reading Schedule: September 8 & 22, October 6 & 20, November 10

September 8: Zikrayat: Eight Jewish Women Remember Egypt by Nayra Atiya, The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit by Lucette Lagnado (optional), Out of Egypt: A Memoir by Andre Aciman (optional)

September 22: When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family's Forgotten History by Massoud Hayoun

October 6: Memories of Eden: A Journey Through Jewish Baghdad by Violette Shamash

October 20: The Pillar of Salt by Albert Memmi, and/or Jews Under Moroccan Skies: Two Thousand Years of Jewish Life by Raphael David Elmalah and George Ricketts

November 10: Journey from the Land of No by Roya Hakakian, and/or The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer

Books:

Zikrayat: Eight Jewish Women Remember Egypt by Nayra Atiya (Egypt)

  •  176 pages
  •  The American University in Cairo Press (April 7, 2020)
  •  9789774169557

Optional: The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit by Lucette Lagnado (Egypt)

  •  368 pages
  •  Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (July 1, 2008)
  •  9780060822187

Optional: Out of Egypt: A Memoir by Andre Aciman (Egypt)

  •  352 pages
  •  Picador; First edition (January 23, 2007)
  •  9780312426552

When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History by Massoud Hayoun (Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine & Los Angeles, CA, USA)

  •  304 pages
  •  The New Press (June 25, 2019)
  •  9781620974162

Memories of Eden: A Journey Through Jewish Baghdad by Violette Shamash (Iraq)

  •  256 pages
  •  Northwestern University Press; Reprint edition (March 15, 2016)
  •  9780810134461

The Pillar of Salt by Albert Memmi (Tunisia)

  •  352 pages
  •  Beacon Press; Reissue edition (February 1, 1992)
  •  9780807083277

And/Or Jews Under Moroccan Skies: Two Thousand Years of Jewish Life by Raphael David Elmaleh and his Scottish co-author, George Ricketts (Morocco)

  • · Paperback: 278 pages
  • · Publisher: Gaon Books (May 30, 2012)
  • · 9781935604242

Journey from the Land of No by Roya Hakakian (Iran)

  •  256 pages
  •  Broadway Books; 1st edition (June 28, 2005)
  •  9780609810309

And/Or The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer (Iran)

  •  368 pages
  •  Harper Perennial; 1st edition (April 29, 2008)
  •  9780061130410

Heba F. El-Shazli is an Egyptian-American and an avid lover and reader of literature from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She is an assistant professor of political science at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Master’s Degree Program at the Center for Democracy and Civil Society. Heba teaches courses on governments and politics of the Middle East and North Africa, Islam and politics, international relations, and the role of civil society and social movements in democratization. She has a Ph.D. in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) with a specialization in Governance and International Affairs from Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs and a Master’s degree from Georgetown University. She was the Director of MENA programs at the Solidarity Center (2004-2011) and the Deputy MENA Regional Director at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) from 2001 until 2004. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (www.cfr.org)

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

Zikrayat: Eight Jewish Women Remember Egypt Cover Image
By Nayra Atiya, Andrea B. Rugh (Foreword by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9789774169557
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: American University in Cairo Press - April 7th, 2020

The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060822187
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Ecco - July 1st, 2008

Out of Egypt: A Memoir Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780312426552
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Picador - January 23rd, 2007

When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family's Forgotten History Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781620974162
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: New Press - June 25th, 2019

Memories of Eden: A Journey Through Jewish Baghdad (Jewish Lives) Cover Image
By Violette Shamash, Tony Rocca (Editor), Mira Rocca (Editor), Shmuel Moreh (Introduction by)
$27.95
ISBN: 9780810134461
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Northwestern University Press - March 15th, 2016

The Pillar of Salt Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780807083277
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Beacon Press - February 1st, 1992

Jews Under Moroccan Skies: Two Thousand Years of Jewish Life Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781935604242
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gaon Web - May 30th, 2012

Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780609810309
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Broadway Books - June 28th, 2005

The Septembers of Shiraz: A Novel Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780061130410
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Ecco - April 29th, 2008