We are delighted to announce that Sayed Kashua, an Israeli writer of Palestinian descent and a singular presence in the world of literature and culture has agreed to stay at the University of Illinois for three more years as a visiting clinical professor. Sayed has been in residence this academic year thanks to the generous support of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and we are very grateful to the Dean and Provost of LAS, as well as the English and Comparative Literature departments for continuing to support this stellar writer.
A widely published (and translated) novelist and weekly columnist for the prestigious newspaper Ha’aretz (Israel’s New York Times), he is also the country’s most successful television producer, his show Arab Labor having been a phenomenon for several years. Recently, a film based on his novel Dancing Arabs was released in Israel and internationally (including the US); we hope to bring the film to Champaign-Urbana next semester and we are planning to screen several episodes of Arab Labor at Hillel.
Kashua is Israel’s most prominent Arab artist. Kashua’s prominence has risen exponentially since he agreed to come to Illinois earlier this year. As conflict escalated this past summer between Israel and the Palestinians, Kashua’s voice was regularly present in international newspapers such as Le Monde and The Guardian. During his time in Illinois, his writing has appeared in the New Yorker and he has been featured on various NPR programs—his articles and interviews often feature our community in ways that put us on the map. He has also toured numerous university campuses across the US, to great acclaim. There is no doubt that Kashua will continue to be a prominent voice for peace and coexistence in the coming years and our campus is thrilled to boast of such a faculty member.