think  the great problem is the whole issue of national identity, or what I would call the politics of identity—the feeling that everything you do has to be either legitimated by, or has to pass through the filter of, your national identity, which in most cases is  complete fiction, as we all know. I mean, an identity that says all Arabs are homogeneously the same and against all Westerners who are all the same. There are many Westerners, there are many Arabs. I think the principal role of the intellectual at this point is to break up these large, national, cultural, transcultural identities…. There has to be an understanding, finally, that there is no political or national grouping that is homogenous. Everything we are talking about is mixed, we deal in world of interdependent, mongrelized societies. They are hybrids, they are impure.
—Edward W. Said, Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews  


Storytelling makes the world stronger because stories reveal the complexity of our truth.  By telling our stories, we resist the diminishing of the reality of our lives. We resist vague and generalized abstractions and we maintain the urgency and intensity of the concrete. And so I share with you something of my story in the hopes of revealing the complexity of our truth.
—Jean Zaru, Occupied with Nonviolence: A Palestinian Woman Speaks  

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