IMEU Logo
The Institute for Middle East Understanding offers journalists and editors quick access to information about Palestine and the Palestinians, as well as expert sources — both in the U.S. and in the Middle East. Read our Background Briefings. Contact us for story assistance. Sign up for e-briefings.
Institute for Middle East UnderstandingPalestinian Americans
Donate to IMEU
Home
News & Analysis
Commentary
From the Media
Factsheets
Life & Culture
Cuisine
Customs & Traditions
Film
Literature
Performing Arts
Visual Arts
Palestine in Photos
Art & Culture
Business & Economy
Daily Life
People
Politics
Palestinian Americans
Background Briefings
Documents & Reports
Development & Economy
Historical Documents
Human Rights
Politics & Democracy
Misc.
Maps
Links
Media Inquiries
About IMEU
Donate
Contact

Get E-mail News
Journalists & Editors: Sign up for e-mail briefings here.
Follow the IMEU on Twitter

EDITOR'S PICKS

On civil disobedience
Neve Gordon, The Palestine Chronicle


Gaza families demand answers
Ma'an News


Goldstone and the 'peace process'
George Giacaman, Bitterlemons.org


Advanced SearchSend/E-mail This PageShare/Save This PagePrint This PageAdvanced SearchAccess RSS Feed
Home > Palestinian Americans
Deema Shehabi: Poet and editor

To interview Deema Shehabi contact the IMEU at 718-514-9662 or info@imeu.net

Palestinian-American poet Deema Shehabi.
Palestinian-American poet Deema Shehabi.
Acclaimed Palestinian-American poet and editor Deema Shehabi aspires to offer poetry that is both aesthetically crafted and that tells the Palestinian narrative. "People have a tendency to dehumanize one another," Shehabi says. "The Palestinian experience provides a vastness and a broad context that can reaffirm our human values because it constantly challenges narrowly constructed notions of nationalism, patriotism, and the like."

Shehabi was born in Kuwait in 1970. She came to the United States in 1988 to attend Tufts University, where she received a BA in history and international relations. In 1993, she received an MS in Journalism from Boston University.

Shehabi says her poetry is "inspired by a sense of loss, combined with the tragedy of the Palestinian experience." Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous literary journals including The Atlanta Review, Bat City Review, Crab Orchard, The Mississippi Review, Drunken Boat, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and the Kenyon Review. She has published works in anthologies such as The Poetry of Arab Women and Contemporary Arab-American Poetry and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. Deema Shehabi has also worked in writing and editing for several book publishers and magazines, including Ulysses Press, Nuclear Times, and most recently, Veggie Life where she was managing editor.

Shehabi's father hails from Jerusalem, and her mother is from Gaza. She has visited both Palestinian cities with her family on numerous occasions. Her earliest memory was the contrast between the sparse landscapes of Kuwait and the "lushness of the orange and lemon groves" that she saw in Gaza when she visited there. "It was heaven," she says.

Deema Shehabi also recalls an experience that took place at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv when she visited at age 9. "When we arrived, I could see my uncle waiting behind the glass on the other side to greet us" she explains. "At the same time I was aware of this intense tension between my mother and the Israeli interrogator." Shehabi says that the two extreme emotions encapsulated in that moment -- the excitement about seeing relatives combined with the palpable hostility between the interrogator and her mother -- left its mark. The experience even informs her writing today.

Currently, Shehabi is working on a new collection of poems and is Vice President for the Radius of Arab-American Writers (RAWI). She plans to establish a contemporary reading series for Arab Americans in the future.


Advanced SearchSend/E-mail This PageShare/Save This PagePrint This PageAdvanced SearchAccess RSS Feed


Home > Palestinian Americans > Deema Shehabi: Poet and editor


All content ©2006-2013 Institute for Middle East Understanding

site designed by nigelparry.net