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SUNDAYS ARE FOR CULTURE

The best books by Arab authors in 2020 (The New Arab)

"From engrossing new fiction to insightful memoirs and thought-provoking non-fiction titles, here's The New Arab's roundup of books – published in English first – by Arab authors in 2020."

Against the Loveless WorldSusan Abulhawa

"The highly acclaimed and internationally best-selling author of Mornings in Jenin is back with her third novel, a searing and lyrical story set in Kuwait, Jordan, and Palestine under Israeli occupation. The plot is centred around Nahr, a young Palestinian refugee, as she slowly becomes radicalised while searching for a better life for her family. A story of love, defiance and rebellion against oppression, and a celebration of the power of Palestinian women."
Artists seek to save abandoned houses and buildings from Gaza’s history (Dawn)

"Al-Ruzzi and other artists launched the Mobaderoon, or Initiators, programme, seeking to save abandoned houses and buildings from two periods of Gaza’s history: the Mamluk Sultanate and the subsequent Ottoman Empire."

"Residents of Gaza are preoccupied with financial woes, struggling with a 13-year-old Israeli-Egyptian blockade, and combatting a raging coronavirus outbreak that has overwhelmed the health system. Campaigns to protect heritage and archaeological sites are not top priorities, but are welcomed."

“The initiatives are very important because their goal is to preserve the cultural legacy,” said al-Astal.

MUSIC

One of the Best Musicians in Israel Sings About the War to Liberate Palestine (Haaretz)

Ben Shalev writes: "Murkus’ new song, called 'Dola' is based on a poem written by Samih al-Qasim in the early 1970s. 

"The poem is based on a pun with the word 'dola.' Dola means country – and in Egyptian slang, it means 'those' as in 'those people.' Murkus thus sings as follows: 'Dola – confused me/Dola – drove me crazy/They deprived me of my land – Dola/Trampled on my honor – Dola/Told me to shut up, not to breathe/For the sake of state security.”

"Because songs by Palestinian musicians are not played on Israeli radio, says Murkus, superb singers are forced to sing at weddings. That’s no way to build a musical culture."
United As One: Palestine Refugee Youth Release A Song of Hope and Determination (United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East)

"A group of young and talented Palestine refugee women and men are sending a message of hope and unity to the world through a song they have just released. United as One is an upbeat song that resulted from long hours of composing, jamming and experimenting that the young people spent with a group of international songwriters and musicians. a song that embodies the resilience and hope of refugee youth."

"The lyrics highlight the beauty of the music and passion of the students: 'Despite the challenges, despite the worries, our hope lasts. We want to write with the ink of freedom and love, new unforgotten pages and color them with you for a new future and a new day.' For the young Palestine refugees, music has provided a much-needed escape from an often difficult reality."

The song will be released on 31st December. Watch the trailer on YouTube.

SPORT

Football association condemns Israel's targeting of a sports club in Gaza (Wafa)

"The Palestinian Football Association (PFA), headed by Jibril Rajoub, condemned the Israeli targeting and bombing of the headquarters and stadium of al-Tuffah Sports Club in al-Tuffah neighborhood in the east of Gaza City."

"Rajoub stressed in a statement that the Israeli occupation's insistence on violating all Olympic and international sports charters without any moral or human deterrence, calling on all regional, continental and international sports organizations, federations, and institutions to denounce these practices and oblige Israel to implement the International Olympic Charter and relevant laws, and to provide the Palestinian people with protection against Israel's daily repressive measures."

"Al-Tuffah Sports Club facilities and its grass field were severely damaged as a result of the bombing attacks carried out by the Israeli occupation planes at dawn today in Gaza City."
‘Fruits of Peace’: Beitar Will Remain a Bastion of Israeli Racism (Palestine Chronicle)

Issam Khalidi writes:  "Just recently Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, a member of the UAE royal family, has pledged to invest 300 million shekels, or about $90 million, into the Beitar (Jerusalem) club over the next decade."

"Beitar is considered one of the clubs in the Israeli First Division Football League, known for its hardline stances against Arab and Palestinians, and there is no Arab player among its ranks. Fans of 'Beitar Jerusalem' are historically considered hostile to Muslims and Arabs, especially the notorious far-right fan group 'La Familia' known for its songs against the Prophet Muhammad. In 2016, nineteen members of the group were charged with attempted murder, including supporters of rival squads."
 

COOKING

Teta's Kitchen — Episode 5: Maklubah in Nablus (Rabet by the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy)

Join Fadi Kattan in Nablus for this week's episode as he eats arayes and knafeh in the market and meets with Imm Zoheir to learn her secrets for cooking maklubah.

How to make Palestinian maqluba (Middle East Eye)

"Dine & Discover is a nine-week series, with a new episode published weekly on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook - so do make sure to subscribe. "

"Hello. I'm Dina Macki and welcome to the fifth episode of Dine & Discover. In the coming weeks, I'll be taking you through a series of recipes famed across the MENA region that you can easily recreate in your own homes."

"Literally meaning "upside down" in Arabic, maqluba, a Palestinian dish, is widely known and made in similar ways across the Middle East. It is truly one to pull out all the stops for and impress your friends."

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