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University of Colorado Boulder Program in Jewish Studies

Jewish Israeli Poet Almog Behar at CU April 2

My Arabic is Mute”: An Evening with Jewish Israeli Poet, Author and Activist, Almog Behar

The Program in Jewish Studies and CU’s Hillel are excited to be able to host award winning poet, author and activist Almog Behar to the Boulder Campus on Monday April 2 at 7:30 pm at Old Main Theater.  This is his first visit to the United States, coming to Boulder after serving as an artist in residence with the Judaic Studies Program at Syracuse University in New York.

Almog Behar is an Israeli Mizrahi (Jew of Arab descent), award winning writer, poet and activist involved in the solidarity movement against the eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Behar is also actively engaged in a small but vibrant community of Jewish and Palestinian Israeli writers—who write in both Hebrew and Arabic—and has participated in the organization of bilingual poetry readings and the compilation of Israeli and Palestinian bilingual poetry collections. Behar’s own fiction and poetry explore the connections between Hebrew and Arabic, insist on the importance of Arabic culture in contemporary Israel and highlight the historic and tradition-based connections between Judaism and Islam and Jewish and Muslim communities in the Middle East.

Join us for an evening with Almog Behar that will include a conversation with Zilla Goodman, Senior Instructor and Head of the Hebrew language and literature program, about his work as a poet, author and activist as well as readings from his recent work.  Additional information about his poetry and activism can be found in an interview with the online magazine Words Without Borders. The following is an excerpt from his poem  “My Arabic is Mute.”

My Arabic is Mute
Strangled in the throat
Cursing itself
Without uttering a word
Sleeping in the suffocating air
Of the shelters of my soul
From family members
Behind the shutters of the Hebrew.

Free and open to the public – please RSVP via email to Nicholas.Underwood@colorado.edu or call 303.492.7143.  Almog Behar’s visit has been made possible by generous donors to CU’s Hillel, the Program in Jewish Studies and the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project, directed by the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS).  Support for the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project is generously provided by Legacy Heritage Fund Limited.



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