Gender, conflict, and Muslim-Jewish romance: Reading ʿAli Al-Muqri’s The Handsome Jew and Mahmoud Saeed’s The World through the Eyes of Angels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

National or ethnic collectivities are often coded in art, propaganda, and other media as “female”—passive, possessed, and penetrable by the enemy other. Particularly during times of conflict, the nation or homeland is depicted as a woman whose purity must be protected by men. Feminist explorations of this phenomenon have often focused on the language and practice of sexual violence against women in war. Mary Layoun’s discussion of Cypriot fiction raises a different possibility: when women transgress group boundaries and make their own choice to pursue sexual relationships with the other, this rupture of dominant ideologies opens up new ways of thinking about identity but may also end with those disruptions being suppressed and crushed. This article uses Layoun’s ideas to inform a close reading of two recent novels written in Arabic, both of which depict Muslim-Jewish amatory relations in a way that counters stereotypical ideas about how such relationships are seen in the Arab world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-362
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Middle East Women's Studies
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • Conflict
  • Jewish
  • Muslim

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