Voices from Palestine


Sat, 03/10/2018 - 11:30am

Location: Social and Behavioral Sciences Tent, UA Mall


UA Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern and North African Studies Maha Nassar and Palestinian-American author Ibtisam Barakat explore the experience of coming of age in Palestine across multiple generations, the complexities of memoir and historical reckoning, and the central role of writing in forming bonds of both solidarity and resistance. Dr. Lisa Adeli moderates the discussion. This event is part of the Tucson Festival of Books. 


Ibtisam Barakat is an award-winning Palestinian-American author, poet, translator, artist and educator. Her work centers on healing social injustices, especially in the lives of young people. Barakat was born in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, and grew up in Ramallah, Palestine. She came to the US for an internship at the Nation magazine in New York City. She holds two master's degrees and has taught language ethics at Stephens College and is the founder of Write Your Life seminars. She is an international speaker and publishes in both English and Arabic. Her books include the critically acclaimed international memoir: Tasting the Sky, a Palestinian Childhood, and her newest book Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine.


Maha Nassar is an Assistant Professor of Modern Middle East History and Islamic Studies in the UA Department of Middle Eastern and North African Studies. She is a cultural and intellectual historian of the twentieth-century Arab world, with a focus on Palestinian history during the 1950s and 1960s. Her research centers on how intellectuals construct social, political and cultural identities, and how those identities are circulated across national boundaries Nassar's first book, "Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World," examines the ways in which Palestinian writers and intellectuals in Israel during the 1950s and 60s positioned themselves within an Arab and third-world social, cultural and intellectual milieu. Her book demonstrates the importance of Arabic newspapers and literary journals in traversing national boundaries and in creating transnational and transregional communities of solidarity.


Dr. Lisa Adeli has been the Director of Educational Outreach for the University of Arizona’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies since July 2007.  A certified high school teacher (Social Studies and English with an ESL endorsement), she taught World History at Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Arizona, for 12 years.  She is currently teaching a dual-credit Middle Eastern Studies class at Tucson’s Cholla High School. Dr. Adeli received her BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1979, two master’s degrees - in History and in Applied Linguistics (Teaching English As a Second Language) from Indiana University in 1983, and a doctorate in History from the University of Arizona in 2004.  In between, she lived/studied in Yugoslavia for a year and a half, spent several years as a part-time college instructor, and then earned a secondary teaching certificate.  As a teacher she is deeply involved in National History Day, a Museum Teacher Fellow with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C, a teacher fellow with the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, and an alumna IREX’s Teaching Excellence and Achievement program, which took her to a school in Vanadzor, Armenia, in April 2008. She is currently on the board of the Arizona Council for History Education and the Middle East Outreach Council - and is a volunteer staff member with the Educators' Institute for Human Rights. As CMES Director of Educational Outreach, her goal is to provide teachers with accurate information on the Middle East, professional development opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad, and materials that educators can use in their classrooms.  


Co-sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences