Tales of the lost land

Journal: 
Issue: 
Summer 1988
Author(s): 

Palestinians have long suffered from an international confusion over exactly who - and where - they are. In the nineteenth century there was a tendency to present Palestine as empty; the subsequent loss of homeland for Palestinians has obviously displaced them further. Bowman looks at Palestinian national identity, as expressed symbolically through certain items of clothing or national colours, and in three texts by Fawaz Turki, Edward Said and Raja Shehadah. He considers the vexed question of language - for example, although many Palestinians can speak Hebrew they will talk to Israelis in English as a way of establishing neutrality. Meanwhile, the idea of a common enemy is seen as central to the construction of national identity. Consideration is given to the work of Eric Hobsbawm, Edwin Ardener, Benedict Anderson and Ernst Roman.

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