Adoption in the Lebanese Context: A Proposal

I am posting here a small excerpt from my proposal to the Asfari Institute entitled: Adoption in the Lebanese Context: 
Practices of Extirpation and Their Impact 
on Kinship, Community, Citizenship, and Identity. I’ve already expanded it into a full research proposal, and the Legal Agenda translated an abridged version which appeared in the newspaper supplement to As-Safir newspaper [link: التبني كأحد مظاهر الإختفاء القسري].

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Asfari Institute/AUB fellowship

Today I received a beautiful letter in my email. It is from the Asfari Institute located here at the American University of Beirut. It reads in part:

We are pleased to inform you that your fellowship proposal entitled: Adoption in the Lebanese Context: Practices of Extirpation and Their Impact on Kinship, Community, Citizenship, and Identity has been accepted for funding by the jury committee for the Asfari Institute of Civil Society and Citizenship. The Asfari Institute is pleased to support your fellowship.…On behalf of the American University of Beirut, we wish you ever success with the project, and we congratulate you on being chosen from a very competitive pool of applicants.

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On the new adopter narratives.

As adoptees, we are used to this drill. Adoptive parents, in a fit of what they believe to be enlightenment, deem themselves worthy of writing up our adoption experiences. These narratives are designed to be consumed by those of the very class which allowed our adoption in the first place. Ironically, we are left out of this equation, and this becomes the flip side of a double-edged sword should we decide to try to turn this narrative around. This results in our further rejection, the inscribing of our “outlier” status, and the realization that “flipping scripts” is as useless as it is impossible. We need to learn from our own histories, as well as those of every other group that has experienced such a thing. Our Voices on some level have been heard, and the response to it is as strategic and tactical as it is silencing. Despite being brought into another family and often society, we remain, for all intents and purposes, Outsiders.

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Research/writing at @academia [updated]

I’ve uploaded papers, conference presentations, articles, etc. to [link to]; I hope this will serve as a more central repository of output than my various blogs/web sites.

View main page: [link to]

Thanks for reading.

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To those inquiring about my safety…

This is based on emails as I’ve been sending them out to friends and family. As much as I complain about this place, there are times when I am grateful to be on the periphery and not in the Belly of the Beast. Of course, I greatly appreciate all the messages of concern. Here I’m just trying to put a little perspective on things.

First of all, I guess it is all about context, because as I said to [my siblings] the other day, would they be more or less worried about me if I were in, say, Newark? Or Paterson? [I’m listing them because I’d consider living there were I to return to the States, not as derogatory statements against them.] And Paris! Honestly, I felt much less safe in Paris, because I was stopped all the time by the police there for my gueule arabe, and I dealt with their racism endlessly, up-front and personally.

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Register now! | #AIC2016

SAVE THE DATE: June 9–11, 2016

CONFERENCE: The Ninth Biennial Adoption Initiative Conference

THEME: Myth and Reality in Adoption: Transforming Practice Through Lessons Learned


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Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities

The following sub-chapter entitled “The Family and the School” is excerpted from the book Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities [link to Verso], by Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein.

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التبني كأحد مظاهر الإختفاء القسري

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Fanon on #Lebanon [almost].

The following is excerpted from a pamphlet I found at Alibris, entitled: “Frantz Fanon, Soweto, and American Black Thought”. Given the current split between the Lebanese bourgeoisie and the “chaab”—meaning, the actual masses within the country who aspire to something else than a piece of the bourgeois pie—and given the way current protests are developing, I find it interesting to go back to previous insurrections and their analysis. The pamphlet is authored by Lou Turner and John Alan, and was published by the News and Letters Committees, chaired by Raya Dunayevskaya, in Detroit, Michigan, in June 1978.

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On rethinking Lebanese origins.

This is an addendum of sorts to a previous post: On DNA testing for adoptees. As our research expands locally, our first assumptions of “being Lebanese” need give way to the logical conclusions of how constructed, affected, and false a notion this is.

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