Jan. 04, 2022

By zoom

In the talk I discuss My Vision (Ru’yay) - a Palestinian utopia from 1943, by historian and man of letters ‘Arif al-‘Arif. I first survey the essay, which describes in science fiction style the Arab world in the very distant future. In the following parts, I point to the connections between My Vision and the works of British prominent author H.G. Wells, and I place My Vision in the general context of Palestinian cultural life and political thought of the Mandate period. I argue that essays such as My Vision are an expression of indigenous modernity and that this concept explains overlooked aspects of Arab political thought with regards to sovereignty, minority rights and religious difference.  ​​​​​​​