National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Paula Abood
Community development worker/activist and writer

Arabs, Activism, Racism and the Media

In the hierarchy of human rights, whose rights are valued and whose are denied depends entirely upon the universal application of the double standard. Why are some groups valued above others? How do we confront this absolute racism where the struggle for self-determination, both in the local and the international context is flagrantly pushed aside.

The portrayal of Arabs has improved little in this supposedly correct era of representation and anti discrimination laws and strategies. The same pathetic stereotypes are still pulled from the racist imaginary and disseminated for popular consumption. Thus, from premiers to police commissioners, media commentators to so called peace makers, human rights, justice issues, racial profiling and who has the right to speak remain a bitterly contested site for Arab Australians.

Paula Abood is a community development worker/activist and writer. She has worked with immigrant and refugee women in a diversity of settings for the past thirteen years, currently focusing on community cultural development. She has written for performance and radio as well as being a founding editor of Xtext journal.Works include Gibran Khalil Gibran (1999), Tomorrow there will be Apricots (1998), and the politics of belly dancing (1994).

Presentation Type
30 min paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Papers & Workshops