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Momina Amjad
Candidate Number: 002223-0028
Session: May 2014
English A1: Language and Literature
Written Task 1
Unit Language and Culture
Text type(s) A print ad and a blog post
Purpose To demonstrate the contrasting
viewpoints in the Palestinian-Israeli
narrative, discuss cultural identity in
depth, resistance, and other themes
Audience The general American public in the 18-
34 demographic.
Context A hummus ad claiming it to be Israeli
food causes controversy, a Palestinian
activist and blogger criticizes that ad
Word count Rationale
Written Task


In this Language and Culture unit, we learned extensively about the importance of
cultural context in understanding language, and consequently, how a readers
interpretation of a text determines the meaning that text has. We mainly studied that
via analyzing advertisements; advertisement campaigns use advertising techniques and
persuasive language whilst being culturally sensitive to appeal to their audiences. I hope
to demonstrate these skills in the first text Ive created; an American print advert for
hummus which claims that it is Israeli food. It is implied that this ad created controversy
among the Palestinian and Arab community in America.
The second text is a popular blog post by a Palestinian activist criticizing the hummus
advert. I discuss the larger themes of cultural identity and national heritage when this
fictional blogger dismisses said advert completely on the basis of it being cultural
appropriation and theft of the Palestinian identity. The design of the blog as a whole
displays themes of resistance, anti-colonialism and struggle against apartheid, all of
which constitute an important part of the Palestinian narrative. The format allows me to
be expressive of the various facets of Palestinian resistance such as art, music and
literature, as well as different cultural and sociopolitical viewpoints via a subsequent
comments section; illustrating how peoples social or cultural background has an
influence on what they have to say.
By juxtaposing these two texts together, I aim to highlight the inevitability of bias and
subjectivity in the media and literature of people in conflicts such as the Palestinian-
Israeli one. This was my focus because it elaborates the impact of culture on language as
well as the impact of language in the assembling of a political movement. I have
attached a mini-glossary at the end for some of the italicized words in the text.


Whether you eat it as a dip, a sauce or an appetizer, Savras Hummus
provides you with the fresh and fine Israeli delicacy all the way in America.
A unique blend of the east and the west awaits you at your nearest
grocery store!

Truly savory


Why Savras latest ad campaign offended so many
1 March 2013
A recent hummus ad by Savra shows the Israeli delicacy in the midst of
American crackers and talks about unique blends of the east and the
west. Most of you reading this post are already thinking something along
the lines of, Okay, whats so wrong with that that? Agreed that hummus
is probably not an Israeli delicacy per se, but cant we just appreciate
people crossing borders and learning to love the enemys food? Why are
all the Arab students across college campuses in the States going crazy
about this non-issue?
The problem is not so much about them appreciating and accepting our
food. The problem is that when you steal a peoples land, when you steal
their sense of belonging, or try to wipe out their history, they hold an
unmeasurable importance to their sense of cultural identity. Culture is an
umbrella term for a lot of things, the shared attitudes of people, their
behaviors well as their material traits, such as dress code and the cuisine.
Ah! Cuisine. It is no secret that hummus, along with tabouleh, falafel and
olive oil, forms a quintessential part of the Arabic cuisine. No mezze is
complete without these small dishes in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria or
Palestine. Yes, hummus is not unique to Palestine, but it has long been a
staple food for Palestinians, often served warm with bread, for breakfast,
lunch and dinner. So why all this anger for something that isnt even
Layla Jabbari
Palestinian American culture and
politics enthusiast with a special
interest in postcolonial and
gender studies. Viva la

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distinctively Palestinian? The thing is, hummus is only a symbol. It
represents a lot more about the stolen Palestinian identity and its peoples
It is the lost olive culture and the Palestinian farmers who were no longer
able to collect their olive harvest after the Nakba. We know from an
Electronic Intifada article that some of the remaining olive farmers are
regularly attacked by the Zionist settler population when they attempt to
care for their trees or harvest them in BTselem and Al Khalil (Hebron).
Falafels are now an Israeli National Dish. This kind of cultural
appropriation is by no means limited to food and agriculture. It is evident
in the linguistic imperialism of Hebrew over Arabic in all the academic
institutions and workplaces in Israel. It is the suppression of Arab literary
figures in Israel because they offer voices of dissent. It is calling the Keffiyeh
a terrorist garb. And it affects Palestinians so much more than it seems.
Apart from the aforementioned cultural concerns, the main reason why
Savra caused such widespread controversy among the Palestinian and
Arab-American community is because it was found out that its parent
company, The Stoche Group, is one of the funders of the IDF. The so called
Israeli Defense Force, IDF is a terrorist organization responsible for killing
and torturing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza on a daily basis. All of
this is well documented on Aljazeera, Ali Abunimahs blog and other news
sites. Also as a consequence of having hummus mass produced by
companies like Savra, the already minimal economic opportunities for
people in the occupied Palestine plunge even lower as their food products
dont even begin to surface in the international markets.
So to sum it all up, by buying and eating Savras hummus (and other
products), you are not only capitalizing upon a peoples stolen identity and
minimizing the their economic opportunities, you are also funding their
apartheid and torture. That to me sounds like a very valid reason for those
people to be furious. So please, reject the gooey mush Savra calls hummus.
Its nothing like the real stuff. Boycott Savra and all their products. And
spread the word around. The BDS campaign needs you.
Tunes of resistance from
Palestine and beyond

Shadia Mansour is the female
rapper American music lacks.
The lucidity of her anger and
the passion in her lyrics revives
my Palestinian spirit.
See more under Arts and

Im sorry, but this is a load of BS. There is no Palestinian identity! Youre all a bunch of Arabs with
similar customs and cuisine. I have to admit that hummus is tasty, and its kosher, so we all love it.
Savra made a mistake, theres no need to get melodramatic about it lady.
6 Likes | Reply
So this is an innocent mistake? How do you explain Stoche Group funding your terrorism?
Zionists and their logic is unbelievable. Do you think were stupid?
4 Likes | Reply
Stoche Group is not even Savra, its ONE of their parent companies, and
who they donate their charity to doesnt matter. Stop getting so
emotional at every damn thing. 1 Like | Reply
This comment violated Falateenis community
Thank for this post, Layla. Its unfortunate that our consumerism funds your suffering, and Im sure
its not just Savra. The other day I read about Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz being a staunch
Zionist and supporting Israels apartheid. Not enough people currently know about the BDS
10 Likes | Reply
Word Count: 990

BDS campaign: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is a global campaign which uses economic and
political pressure on Israel to comply with the stated goals of the movement: The end of Israeli occupation and
colonization of Arab land, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and respect for the right of return
of Palestinian refugees
Kefiyyeh: Various types of Middle Eastern headdresses for men- the one referred to in the blog is the
Palestinian variant which is typically black and white and has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance.
Mezze: A selection of small dishes served at the beginning of all large scale meals in Levantine cuisines
Comparable to appetizers.
Nakba: The 1948 Palestinian exodus, known in Arabic as the Nakba (literally "disaster", "catastrophe", or
"cataclysm") occurred when approximately 711,000 to 726,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from
their homes
Tabouleh: A Levantine Arab salad traditionally made of bulgur, tomatoes, cucumbers, finely chopped parsley,
mint, onion, and garlic and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt
Images Used:
[1] Group Recipes. Goat Cheese Hummus. Digital image 2013. Web. 2 Mar 2013
[2] Paq, Anne. Graffiti, Separation Wall; Bethlehem, 16.01.2011. Digital image 2012. Web. 2 Mar 2013
[3] Ridz Design. Shadia Mansour. Digital image 2010. Web. 2 Mar 2013
Articles Cited:
[1] Olive harvest once again marred by settler violence. 7 December. 2005. Web. 2 Mar 2013.

Svirsky, Marcelo. Arab-Jewish activism in Israel-Palestine. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2012. Print.
Davidson, Alan. The Oxford companion to food. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.
Mcdowall, David. The Palestinians. London: Minority Rights Group, 1987. Print.
Zubaida, Sami. Culinary cultures of the Middle East. London [u.a.]: Tauris, 1994. Print