Who Defines Me: Orientalism Revisited and Occidentalism Redefined in the Post-9/11 Era
This paper focuses on those works with politically charged
content that manage to ask pointed questions about how
cultural stereotypes produce new forms of political “sight”
and thus create the binary of ‘us’ and ‘them.’ It
specifically explores how Arabs, especially after the
election of President Barack Hussein Obama, assert the
value of America as a potential source of ‘change’ while
attempting to renegotiate the Arab and Muslim worlds’
positions in the international system.
||US-Middle East Encounter, Orientalism vs Occidentalism Globalization and Colonization, “Self” vs “Other” in Identity
International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 10, pp.73-84.
Article: Print (Spiral Bound).
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PhD Candidate, American Studies, George Washington University, Washington, Falls Church, DC, USA
My research interests revolve around post 9/11 US/Middle East encounter. During my time as an undergraduate, and in my current research as an American Studies Ph.D. candidate, I have attempted to engage with texts whose place in forming American perception seems secure. Such works constitute the source of knowledge about the “other” but just as often source of wide-spread fascination. My personal commitment to these texts – literary, filmic, or otherwise – is complicated by my attempts to theorize what worldviews they convey, how they engage the American foreign policy, and what they teach people about the political and social construction of Islam as a religion and Muslims as a nation. Aiding me in the endeavor to illuminate these connections has been an expanding set of academic experiences that I owe to my undergraduate work at Al-Azhar University (Egypt) and my graduate research at Minia University (Egypt) as well as my on-going graduate research at the George Washington University. Working in the field of translation to and from Arabic, my mother tongue, has enriched my background in the area of inter-cultural studies and enabled me to make arguments about the politics of knowing the “other” and introducing the “self.” Seen as a potential opinion leader in my country, I was chosen by the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in Cairo to represent Egypt in the International Visitor Program sponsored by the Department of State in 2005 (http://exchanges.state.gov/ivlp/ivlp.html). Moreover, I got UCD Clinton Institute Award to attend their summer school in Dublin, Ireland, July 2009. Although my background is principally in the areas of English and Literature, the perspective of the critic is an essential and important aspect of my being as both scholar and person.
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