Printing Class: ‘Isa Al-'Isa, Filastin and the Textual Construction of National Identity, 1911-1931

R. Bracy, R. Michael Bracy

Printing Class: 'Isa Al-'Isa, Filastin and the Textual Construction of National Identity, 1911-1931
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Printing Class: ‘Isa Al-'Isa, Filastin and the Textual Construction of National Identity, 1911-1931

R. Bracy, R. Michael Bracy

Printing Class explores the manners and challenges in which alternating constructions of national identity were articulated in the writings of ‘Isa al-'Isa and his newspaper Filastin. The analysis illuminates an expression of national identity in Palestine in which 'Isa struggled to combine multiple political realities that constituted Palestinian society as well as social class and ideological prejudices of contributing journalists. After its initial publication in February 1911, Filastin quickly became the largest circulated newspaper in Palestine and remained under the singular guidance of its founder and editor, 'Isa al-'Isa of Jaffa, thereby allowing a unique look into an active and dynamic articulation of national identity from a newly forming middle class in Palestine that was meant for widespread dissemination among the Arab population. The time period under consideration will be limited to 'Isa’s work between 1911 and 1931, as this time marked a complex interaction of Ottoman, Zionist, Arabist, and Mandatory influences that challenged the formation of national identity. Filastin is often cited in the examination of various aspects of Palestine nationalism; however, it has not been systematically treated as a single text until now.

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