As part of Mada al Carmel’s ongoing lecture series, “Politics in the time of Coronavirus”, researcher Ahmad Mahmood of the Hebrew University has given a lecture examining how Palestinians are represented during pandemics. Focusing on the local history of Haifa, Mahmood draws a comparison between the current Coronavirus pandemic and a Cholera outbreak which befell the city in 1911, when Palestine was under Ottoman rule. He argues that the history of diseases in Palestine has not been sufficiently studied in Arabic-language scholarship, thus leaving a knowledge gap in which non-Arabic sources predominate, with those sources often drawing on Orientalist stereotypes when describing Arab community responses to disease.

 

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