Excellence in Scholarship and Learning
Arabic between State and Nation
Israel, the Levant and Diaspora
Muhammad Suwaed is a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences and Middle Eastern Studies at the Western Galilee College, Acre, Israel. Dr. Suwaed, a scholar studying Middle Eastern Society, Culture and Politics, has published many studies in his field of expertise, including: The Bedouins in Israel and in the Middle East, Political Parties in the Middle East, the Status of Women in the Middle East.
In order to better understand the political conditions of the Arabic language in Israel, a comparison with the political conditions of Arabic in the Levant as well as the Diaspora is necessary. Comparison consists of macro factors, such as nation-state building, and at the micro level, the daily public usage of Arabic. While the relationship between language and nationhood is well documented, study of the unique socio-political situation of the use of Arabic in the Jewish state, and in particular language usage in East Jerusalem, has hitherto not been addressed. The removal of Arabic as an official language in Israel in 2018 has major implications for Israeli–Palestinian accommodation.
Research for the book relied on ethnographic fieldwork as well as sociolinguistic literature. Investigation is wide-ranging: distinguishing the different public presences of language; the state of literacy (publishing, education); and (formal and informal) interviews with students, teachers and journalists. Linguists often consider the Levant to belong to one dialect group but post-1918 people in the Levant have had to deal with separate political realities, and language differences reflect their unique political and social circumstances. The history of European colonialism is but one influencing factor. Diaspora comparison engages with the US city of Dearborn, Michigan, home to the largest Arab American community in one locality. How does this community find meaning in both being American and a threat to national security? This dilemma is mirrored in the life of Palestinians in Israel. Security and securitisation are relational concepts (Rampton and Charalambous 2019), and language plays a large part in personal sense of belonging. Analytical tools such as the concept of seamline (Eyal 2006), and indexicality (Silverstein 1979), assist in coming to terms with the metapragmatic meanings of language. This important book reaches far beyond linguistic difference; it goes to the heart of political, social and economic despair faced by multiple communities.
|Paperback Price:||£60 / $65|
|Release Date:||November 2022|
|Page Extent / Format:||240 pp. 234 x 156 mm|
|Illustrated:||Maps, tables & circa 90 colour photographs|
List of Figures, Maps and Tables
On Language, Identity and Conflict: Some Basic Concepts
A Word on Bilingualism, Code-switching and Language Loss
1. Can We Still Speak of a Levantine Arabic?
What is a Levantine Identity?
Dialect Boundaries and National Identity
The Linguistic Landscape
2. What is Happening to Arabic in Israel?
The Status of Arabic Post- 2018 Basic Nationality Law
The Linguistic Landscape
Arabic and Hebrew in Advertisements
Arabic Use in Social Media
3. Jerusalem, Al-Quds: Overview
Discriminatory Laws that Make Life Hard for Arab Jerusalemites
Arab Schools in Jerusalem
The ‘Tawjihi-Bagrut’ Controversy
Street Naming and the Linguistic Landscape
Let’s Start with the Name of the City
Interview with Yitshak Reiter (19 November 2019) on Street Naming in East Jerusalem, and Commentary
Neoliberalism Arrives in Jerusalem
4. Arabic in Jerusalem, Institutionally Speaking
Schools in East Jerusalem
Jews Learning Arabic
Arab Women Learning Hebrew
Are We Witnessing a Social Movement?
The Hebrew University Opens its Gates to Arab Jerusalem
Arab Student Experience
‘Fear of Small Numbers’?
5. The (Il)Legitimacy of Arabic in Michigan: An American Linguistic Landscape
Demographic and Historic Background
Research on Arab Americans
Review Quotes to Follow
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