The ONLY active voice for American Arab Journalists.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Chicago Book launch: The Yalla Journal Book, May 16

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters, As some of you know I am the Senior Jewish Editor of the Yalla Journal.

Despite the frequent labelling of the youth demographic as "the future" and "the hope" of the never-ending Arab-Israeli conflict, they have often been unable to affect real change. The Arab and Jewish editors of The Yalla Journal decided to get together to create a space in the form of a printed book where their voices could co-exist in a time where there is no such physical space.

The Yalla Journal is a grassroots collaborative book that is a youth response to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It features 200 pages of the poetry, photography, short stories, personal narrative and essays of Jewish and Arab youth aged 18-30 from across the world. The Arabic word Yalla explains the mandate of the journal: it means "Come on! Let's get going!" and is used colloquially in both Palestinian and Israeli dialect today. Through this call to action, the journal hopes to inspire the reader to choose communication over silence and dialogue over violence when dealing with the present situation.

The journal poses questions like: "What does the conflict mean to Arab and Jewish youth today?" and "What does it mean to be Palestinian or Israeli?" It attempts to weave together a narrative through the stories and meditations generated by the various responses to these questions. In essence, Yalla hopes to help open up the much-needed lines of communication between Arab and Jewish communities abroad.

The first edition of The Yalla Journal was released in 2005 across University Campuses in Canada. The first launch was co-sponsored by the Arab Student's Association and Hillel Jewish student groups. It generated much public interest. Yalla editors were featured in both the local and national media, and were interviewed on the local radio and spoke at University events across Eastern North America. They were also recipients of the 2005 Quebec Government's Forces Avenir Award.The second edition of the innovative journal was released in Canada in November and is ready to be released for the first time in the US!

The launch party will feature live Arabic and Jewish artists and musicians, a breakdance performance/ interpretation of the conflict by some particularly concious Chicago youth, journal readings and free copies of the book. The launch will take place at 7:30pm on Wednesday May 16 at the Mercury Cafe 1505 W. Chicago Ave (Chicago/Ashland... The Chicago stop on the blue and brown lines). Yalla invites you to join us as we "Get going!" Press copies are available upon requestFor further information contact or email me back. I look forward to seeing you all there! Love, Rachel Leya Davidson (Senior Jewish Editor, The Yalla Journal)

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