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Closed off, Walled in

Saree Makdisi: The withdrawal from Gaza, 1 September 2005

... Palestinians celebrated as Israel began to withdraw its soldiers and settlers from the Gaza Strip (and from a handful of small and isolated colonies in the northern West Bank). The withdrawal will, it’s true, offer some immediate relief after 38 years of military occupation. At the same time, however, it’s clear that it is designed to serve Israel’s interests, not those of the Palestinians ...

Diary

Saree Makdisi: Living with the Wall, 3 March 2005

... It was on the way up to Qalandya, on the edge of metropolitan Jerusalem, that I got my first glimpse of the separation barrier. In the neighbourhood of al-Ram, large sections of the wall that Israel began building in 2003 have recently been erected, although gaps still exist towards the northern edge of the district. As the construction of the wall north of Jerusalem enters its final phase, it has become clear that the 50,000 Palestinians in and near al-Ram will be entirely surrounded, cut off from each other and the outside world ...

Travelling Text

Marina Warner: ‘The Arabian Nights’, 18 December 2008

The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights 
translated by Malcolm Lyons, with Ursula Lyons.
Penguin, 2715 pp., £125, November 2008, 978 0 14 091166 4
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‘The Arabian Nights’ in Historical Context: Between East and West 
edited by Saree Makdisi and Felicity Nussbaum.
Oxford, 337 pp., £55, November 2008, 978 0 19 955415 7
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... the opening essay of ‘The Arabian Nights’ in Historical Context, a collection edited by Saree Makdisi and Felicity Nussbaum, shows how Galland’s work set the trend. A brilliant linguist, antiquarian and Orientalist, Galland began the process of treating the book as something that could be altered and made to express fantasy. The most popular ...

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