In cooperation with: the NYU Center for Media, Culture and History; the NYU Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies; the NYU Center for Religion and Media; the Department of Cinema Studies at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts; and the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts
Thursday, February 2, 2012, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Mustapha Tlili, Founder and Director of the NYU Center for Dialogues, opened the evening by introducing the film, Miral — directed by Julian Schnabel based on the novel by Rula Jebreal — and by expressing his hope that it would inspire the audience to rise above the politics of the Israeli—Palestinian conflict to see the essential humanity at the heart of Ms. Jebreal’s story.
Professor Tlili began by quoting the powerful words of Edward Said: “the story of the Palestinian people is the story of dispossession.”1 The Palestinian people face dispossession yesterday, dispossession today, and most likely dispossession tomorrow, so long as no one is able to put an end to settlers’ activities. The story of the Palestinian people is also the story of memory: memory of the land lost, memory of the homes, lives, and dreams that were destroyed. The novel, Miral, tells this story of dispossession very poignantly because at the heart of this story is the personal experience and voice, full of pain and longing, of the writer, Rula Jebreal. If art has any function at all, Professor Tlili argued, it is in bringing people together in aesthetic judgment, thus transforming the personal into the universal. This is what Miral achieves so successfully.
Before welcoming Rula Jebreal to the podium, Professor Tlili thanked the event’s co—sponsors: Faye Ginsburg, Director of the NYU Center for Media, Culture, and History; Zvi Ben Dor, Acting Director of the NYU Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies; Marita Sturken, Chair of the NYU Department of Media, Culture and Communication; and Richard Allen, Chair of the NYU Department of Cinema Studies.
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