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A response to 'Israel Shabbat: Bedouin Style'

(11/13/14 12:36pm)

Duke Students for Justice in Palestine would like to bring to the attention of the Duke community an event that is taking place this Friday, titled ‘Israel Shabbat: Bedouin Style’. We are deeply offended in the framing of Israel Shabbat as “Bedouin Style” and see it as blatantly offensive cultural appropriation. Not only were there were no efforts made to incorporate Arab voices, but the elements that were intended to portray Bedouin culture are “Bedouin” tents, blankets and a rented camel. Such actions, no matter how well intended, treat Bedouin culture as a gimmick rather than a historical and nuanced culture and people. Notions that can perpetuate damaging stereotypes are already apparent in the language used in the event’s advertisement: