The Taboos of Occupation in Diana Abu Jaber’s Crescent and Naomi Shihab Nye’s Habibi

Nasaybah Awajan


The study explores the effect of occupation on the occupied population in both Diana Abu Jaber’s Crescent (2003) and Naomi Shihab Nye’s Habibi (1999). The impact of occupation is usually thought to be (and quite often are) taboos that cannot easily be revealed by the occupied, and if they are revealed, the audience will end up getting two different versions of the stories - one version from the occupier and the other version from the occupied. Abu Jaber and Nye express the taboos that are a result of the occupation of certain Middle Eastern countries, and more specifically, Iraq and Palestine. This paper attempts to show how both writers reflect which cannot be presented and spoken - the taboos of occupation - in their literary works, Crescent and Habibi. They even enhance these taboos by presenting them through different characters. There has been much literature written on both works, but there is still a lack in literature discussing how these authors have presented the taboos of occupation in Iraq and Palestine and how these writers took advantage of presenting these taboos through their narratives. Added to that, most of literature that has been written on current novels is about the political issues that these two countries have suffered from rather than the effect of these political issues on the people living in Iraq and Palestine. Second, most of the literature written has tackled each of the author’s works alone rather than written on the two novels together.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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