Himmat Zoubi (Zu’bi)
Himmat Zoubi (Zu’bi), is a Palestinian researcher and feminist activist. She received her PhD in Sociology from Ben-Gurion University and she holds two Master’s degrees, one in Criminology and another in Gender Studies. Her work focuses on cities in colonial context and she published several book chapters and articles on gender, cities and settler colonialism, memory and oral history, indigenous knowledge and resistance. She has received several awards and grants for her research, among them the Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) fellowship, and Scholarship for Outstanding Postdoctoral Arab Fellows – Council for Higher Education (2020-2021).
Zoubi was a EUME Fellow during the academic years 2018/2020. During 2021, Zoubi will be a Post-doctoral fellow of The International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-Strategies (IRGAC) at Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (Berlin), associated with The Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin and with EUME, Berlin.
Seventy years after Israel’s sweeping attempts to de-urbanize Palestinian social life, Palestinians have forged alternative cultural and intellectual initiatives to revive their disrupted urbanity. The year 2019 had witnessed some of these cultural and intellectual initiatives materializing in the streets of Haifa, with a massive mobilization of Palestinian feminists and Palestinians LGBTQ activists. By taking the streets, Palestinian grassroots activists along with feminist and queer civil society organizations, were speaking out against patriarchal, colonial and capitalist oppression.
This project scrutinizes the relationships between neoliberalism, globalization, settler colonial local urban policies and new strategies of resistance in the realm of culture and urban activism. It explores transformations in spatial social power relations in Haifa since the 1990’s, that have often been described as a period of new beginnings in Arab thought, social and artistic practice.
This project examines the interaction between macro and micro politics, the continuous struggle over urban space, and the way Palestinians live and re-claim their city today. It investigates strategies and civic practices to challenge existing political and spatial power relations, as well as internal social constrains to re-gain urban spaces, and to practice (an imagined) de-colonized and inclusive urban space inside Israel.
Alongside her current project, “Re-urbanizing Palestine, Cultural Spaces and Palestinian Urbanity”, Zoubi is working on her book project “De-Urbanizing Palestine: Transforming Hayfa with Haifa (1948-1953)”, which is based on her dissertation. The book is about replacing Hayfa (the term Hayfa is used to distinguish between pre-1948 Hayfa and post-occupation Haifa) with Haifa during a transition period between the colonial British Mandate and the Israeli State. It analyzes the making of the Israeli “mixed cities” in the state building era, and the consequent changes to the urban sphere and the social scheme of the population in the city. The book explores the dialectic relation between local and national settler-colonial policy in the city of Haifa, and the everyday resistance of the remaining urban Palestinians the mutabaqqun (المتبقون). It turns the spotlight onto the Palestinians who remained in Haifa, and scrutinizes the changes that took place in Hayfa at large through the transformations in the mutabaqquns’ lives, both real and symbolic.