Maha Nassar, Associate Professor at the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona, and author of Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World (Stanford, 2017), found a rare newspaper from CRL collections indispensable for her research. Professor Nassar first discovered CRL’s rich newspaper holdings as a graduate student at the University of Chicago. For her dissertation research on the lives of Palestinian citizens of Israel in the 1950s and 1960s, CRL provided its holdings of the Arabic newspaper from Israel, al-Yawm, and arranged to acquire copies of additional issues.
While developing Brothers Apart, al-Yawm played an even more critical role. The only other Arabic newspaper in Israel at the time was published by the Israeli Communist Party. Letters to the editor in al-Yawm provided an essential alternative perspective, documenting the views of non-Communist Israeli Palestinians on local, regional and world events.
Professor Nassar found that the two newspapers made “strikingly different arguments about how Arabs should respond to the rapid changes of the mid-20th century.” She concluded that “being able to compare and contrast these views added depth and clarity to my research and made for a much more solid book.” CRL's holdings are now inspiring her next research project, on Palestinian women in the Israeli state during the early 1950s.
CRL holds the largest circulating collection of world newspapers.