Journal of Levantine Studies


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As the JLS family at Van Leer, we are happy to announce the publication of the latest issue of Theory and Criticism, VLJI's biannual publication in Hebrew dedicated to the critical study of culture and society in Israel.

Among the many insightful articles in this latest issue is Palestinian sociologist Honaida Ghanim's "Transforming Al-Quds into Urshalim: Erasure and Opposition in a Situation of Emergent Settler Colonialism." In this article, Ghanim examines the status of Palestinians in al-Quds and the processes of the Judaification of East Jerusalem as a case of emergent settler colonialism.

Ghanim's work reminds us of another article that highlights the importance of employing a postcolonial framework in scholarly analysis. In his article "Islamic Law as Indigenous Law: The Shari‘a Courts in Israel from a Postcolonial Perspective," published in the Journal of Levantine Studies (5.1), Israeli legal anthropologist and social historian Ido Shahar examines the shari‘a court system in Israel and illustrates how these courts act as sites of co-optation and resistance.

On the occasion of the publication of Theory and Criticism's latest issue, we invite you to revisit Ido Shahar's article, which is now available for free download:
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"In the mid-1940s, Najwa Kawar Farah, a Christian schoolteacher in Nazareth and an occasional contributor to Palestine’s new broadcasting service, received an invitation to speak at the Orthodox Club in Haifa. She used the opportunity to delineate her vision of the future for a new Palestine and warned of dire consequences if her vision of societal and educational reform were not fulfilled."

Laura Robson's article "The Making of Palestinian Christian Womanhood: Gender, Class, and Community in Mandate Palestine" seeks to expand the study of Palestinian Arab women’s self-identification and social and political activism by examining how Arab Christian women viewed, shaped, and managed their participation in the project of defining Palestinian national identity during the period of British colonial occupation.

Now available for free download!

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Photo credit: http://www.najwafarah.com/
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"... my mother, may she be blessed with long life, would sternly warn my sisters who picked olives at Kibbutz Hazorea not to call my brother Jamal by his name in the presence of Jews from the kibbutz [...], because he was named after the Egyptian president at the time, Jamal ‘Abd al-Nasir..."

This week's featured docku-ment: In The Shadow of Two Languages by
Marzuq Al-Halabi.

Halabi’s text describes his attempts, as a native speaker of Arabic, to cope with a space in which Hebrew is the dominant language. One of the central themes of al-Halabi’s text is the transformation of the local person, the native, into a kind of immigrant in his own country.

Read more online: https://levantine-journal.org/in-the-shadow-of-two-languages/
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Journal of Levantine Studies - JLS updated their cover photo. ... See MoreSee Less

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Recently Published:

Vol. 7, No. 1: Summer 2017

Editor's Note | Abigail Jacobson

The current volume of the Journal of Levantine Studies pays tribute to Egyptian Jewish essayist and novelist Jacqueline Shohet Kahanoff by dedicating a thematic discussion to the concept of the Arab-Jew, which is strongly connected to the idea of Levantinism. In her writing Kahanoff considers the dilemmas of Mediterranean Jews and opens the possibilities of imagining a new geographical, political, cultural, and historical space: the Levant. Similarly, the idea of the Arab-Jew reflects the possibilities or impossibilities of the Levant and Levantine belonging. It offers possibilities of thinking beyond the politicized categories of ethnic identity and of considering the Mediterranean as a combination of local and regional histories. The three articles and essay presented in this thematic discussion attempt to highlight the Arab-Jew and propose new directions of research on the topic in light of the last decade’s rich scholarship regarding this important part of a Levantine world and identity.

Read More »


  • Gender, Religion, and Secularism in the English Mission Hospital of Jerusalem, 1844–1880
    Yali Hashash
    $5.00
  • Hasan and Marika: Screen Shots from a Vanishing Egypt
    Joel Gordon
    $5.00
  • Between Politics and Politics of Identity: The Case of the Arab Jews
    David Tal
    $5.00
  • The Arab Jew Debates: Media, Culture, Politics, History
    Lital Levy
    Free download Download
  • Abandoning Language: The Project of Arab-Jewish Subjectivity in Sami Michael’s Arabic Fiction of the 1950s
    Aviv Ben Or
    $5.00
  • We can't understand ourselves without the Arabic: Dreams in Cambridge (2009)
    Almog Behar
    Free download Download

dock-ument aims to promote the theoretical discourse on topics related to various aspects of the Levant and the concept of the Levant, with preference given to personal essays and to lyrical prose. Its purpose is to encourage various perspectives and unique voices so they can be heard in a way that is not confined by the constraints of scientific discussion. The name, dockument, seeks to express the connection between text and context, between the pier, the home dock, and the ship of thoughts and reflections that will sail, we hope, to various interesting places.

+ Articles
  • Gender, Religion, and Secularism in the English Mission Hospital of Jerusalem, 1844–1880
    Yali Hashash
    $5.00
  • Hasan and Marika: Screen Shots from a Vanishing Egypt
    Joel Gordon
    $5.00
  • Between Politics and Politics of Identity: The Case of the Arab Jews
    David Tal
    $5.00
  • The Arab Jew Debates: Media, Culture, Politics, History
    Lital Levy
    Free download Download
  • Abandoning Language: The Project of Arab-Jewish Subjectivity in Sami Michael’s Arabic Fiction of the 1950s
    Aviv Ben Or
    $5.00
+ Essays
  • We can't understand ourselves without the Arabic: Dreams in Cambridge (2009)
    Almog Behar
    Free download Download
+ Dock-ument

dock-ument aims to promote the theoretical discourse on topics related to various aspects of the Levant and the concept of the Levant, with preference given to personal essays and to lyrical prose. Its purpose is to encourage various perspectives and unique voices so they can be heard in a way that is not confined by the constraints of scientific discussion. The name, dockument, seeks to express the connection between text and context, between the pier, the home dock, and the ship of thoughts and reflections that will sail, we hope, to various interesting places.

+ Reviews


Journal of Levantine Studies

The Journal of Levantine Studies (JLS) is an interdisciplinary academic journal dedicated to the critical study of the geographical, social, and cultural settings which, in various periods of history, have been known as the “Levant.” The journal is published biannually in English in print and online by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.