!!> Read ➸ Arab American Drama, Film and Performance: A Critical Study, 1908 to the Present ➻ Author Michael Malek Najjar – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk

Arab American Drama, Film and Performance: A Critical Study, 1908 to the Present Beginning With The Early Arab American Playwright, Poet And Novelist Kahlil Gibran And Concluding With Contemporary Playwright Yussef El Guindi, This Book Provides An Historical Overview And Critical Analysis Of The Plays, Films And Performances Of Self Identified Arab Americans Arab American Identity, Self Representation And The Notion Of Resistance Literature In These Works Are Addressed Playwrights, Performers And Filmmakers Covered Include Ameen Fares Rihani, Danny Thomas, Heather Raffo, Ahmed Ahmed, Mona Mansour And Cherien Dabis These Artists, Traditionally Underrepresented In Entertainment, Publishing And Academia, Have Created Works That Exemplify The Burgeoning Arab American Arts Movement By Addressing Cinema, Stand Up Comedy And Solo Performance, The Author Introduces Audiences To Contemporary Genres That Are Currently Shaping Arab American Culture In The US


About the Author: Michael Malek Najjar

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8 thoughts on “Arab American Drama, Film and Performance: A Critical Study, 1908 to the Present

  1. says:

    Note This review first appeared in Al Jadid A Review Record of Arab Culture and Arts Ghosts in the MachineArab American Drama, Film and Performance A Critical Study, 1908 to the PresentBy Michael Malek NajjarMcFarland Company, Inc., 2015Reviewed by Angele Ellis In 2002, a battered historical marker emerged from the rubble of the World Trade Center the bulldozed cornerstone of St Joseph Maronite Church, once the heart of New York s thriving late 19th and early 20th century Little Syri Note This review first appeared in Al Jadid A Review Record of Arab Culture and Arts Ghosts in the MachineArab American Drama, Film and Performance A Critical Study, 1908 to the PresentBy Michael Malek NajjarMcFarland Company, Inc., 2015Reviewed by Angele Ellis In 2002, a battered historical marker emerged from the rubble of the World Trade Center the bulldozed cornerstone of St Joseph Maronite Church, once the heart of New York s thriving late 19th and early 20th century Little Syria Washington Street s diverse residents included members of The Pen League, a group of writers and dramatists most famously, Mikhail Naimy, Ameen Rihani, and Kahlil Gibran In this comprehensive and scholarly yet engaging study, Michael Malek Najjar, a playwright, director, and professor, follows Arab American theatre including stand up comedy and film from its beginnings to the wave of contemporary works created in a number of cities in the wake of the destruction of the Twin Towers built on Little Syria s ruins Najjar explores the tensions and contradictions that existed in Arab American drama from the start He eschews use of the hyphen in this umbrella term that dates from Arab American activism of the 1960s, except when quoting other writers I believe that the connection between these two wordsisof a gulf than a bridge Arab Americans live in thisspace between these two identities in a state of constant negotiation It is from that interstitial space that I believethese writers and performers create their works p 13 At the same time, the divided Arab American has to contend with his her Otherness in the prejudiced society in which s he lives perhaps akeenly felt oppositional barrier for the modern Arab American writer first, second, or third generation than for the members of The Pen League Najjarthan once references Jewish American philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler Arab American identity formation was, and remains, areaction to the post 1967 and post 9 11 derealization ofArab Americans Derealization is a term deployed by JudithButler to describe the condition that renders the Other asneither alive nor dead, but interminably spectral p 28 Yet out of these agonies of divided consciousness, danger, demonization, and haunted stereotypes has emerged a continuing tradition of vibrant and innovative performance Najjar is at his most fascinating when describing and analyzing individual and collective works, both past and present A few of the many highlights include Kahlil Gibran s 1916 one act play The Colored Faces aka The Chameleons , published in the Arabic language newspaper As Sayeh The Traveler Here, the writer best known for lofty aphorisms excoriates the Syrian Lebanese Americans of his time as crass, closed minded, and envious They condemn the writer Salim al Marjani a Gibran stand in because of his opposition to the Church, his Western ways and associates, and the praise he has received from American newspapers Al Marjani s only defender is Miss Warda, herself marginalized by her compatriots because of her cultivation and unmarried status When al Marjani arrives with a money order for those in the Old Country whose starvation under the Ottomans was of intense concern to Gibran , the group fawns on him he leaves quickly It is Miss Warda as Najjar notes, one of a number of powerful female characters in the history of Arab American performance who has the last word, skewering the group s hypocrisy before the stage directions tell her to flee like someone who is running away from hell Comedian, comic actor, and philanthropist Danny Thomas s hallmark nightclub routine Ode to a Wailing Syrian Lebanese, which in 1944 put him on the cover of LIFE Magazine This enormously popular piece also performed on radio and television combines comic punchlines and stage bits pounding the microphone with a dinner roll, draping a tablecloth over his head to represent a keffiyeh hijab , with remarks in colloquial Arabic, whose centerpiece is a tragic ode composed on the gallows by a man hanged by the Ottomans for singing anti government propaganda Although Thomas s later work, as Najjar says, was co opted erasing or Orientalizing his Arab influences Ode to a Wailing Syrian demonstrates Thomas s kinship to today s successful Arab and Muslim stand up comedians, including Ahmed Ahmed, Maysoon Zayid, and Dean Obeidallah The 2002 staging of Sajjil, a play in multiple voices, by Nibras, an ensemble that included then emerging playwrights and performers James Asher, Leila Buck, Maha Chehlaoui, Omar Koury, Omar Metwally, Najla Said, and Afaf Shawwa Though in the mode of a documentary drama like The Laramie Project the central question of the piece is What comes to mind when you hear the word Arab Najjar notes According to Najla Said, Arabs who were asked this question responded with words like love, food, home, and family Non Arabs used words like desert, camel, terror, angry, and Muslim Najjar asserts that Nibras although not the first Arab American theatre ensemble was the first post 9 11 theatre ensemble to confront the misrepresentation of Arab Americans This central confrontation is a thread in the work of other contemporary playwrights, performance artists, and filmmakers as diverse as Yusef El Guindi, Betty Shamieh, Jamil Khoury, Ismail Khalidi, Heather Raffo, Kathryn Haddad, Andrea Assaf, Cherian Dabis, Sayed Badreya, and Rola Nashef The current flowering of Arab American drama leads Najjar to end his study on a hopeful note Arab Americans will no longer play the tiny, marginal, and unimportant role Edward W Said believed they had been assigned to playing for over a century in American culture The next century will tell

  2. says:

    812.50989 N162 2015

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