Bringing this blog back to life

Charles Davis Tillman, THE REVIVAL NO. 2 (Atlanta: Charlie D. Tillman, 1896), title page.

Charles Davis Tillman, THE REVIVAL NO. 2 (Atlanta: Charlie D. Tillman, 1896), title page.

Way back in December 2012, I was still working on my MA thesis. It was winter, so it was probably raining. I would spend long afternoons and/or mornings, before and after work, on weekends and during the week, poring over old newspapers (the topic of the thesis was a Haifan newspaper, Hacarmel, published in 1938 by new Zionist immigrants, and the insight it gives us into relationships between Jews and Arabs at the time, in that city); translating Arabic painfully slowly (I also looked at some Arabic papers published at the time); and adding footnote after footnote (after footnote after footnote).

I enjoyed reading news from the past and imagining pre-state Palestine. During my research, I would find fascinating tidbits of life back then, and these tidbits gave birth to this blog. The Paper Dispatch was originally intended as an outlet for all sorts of interesting, tangential things that didn’t make it into the thesis. Then, however, I finished my thesis, and, given that I no longer spent most of my time communing with old newspapers, maintaining this blog became somewhat of a challenge. Eventually, in August last year, I just stopped. It has been a year since then. In the meantime, having finished my MA in Middle East history, I began working full-time as a journalist at the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, where I am both an editor and a reporter. The blog was there on the edge of my brain, saying “go on, revive me,” so here I am answering its call. The Paper Dispatch will now be an outlet for all sorts of interesting things that I guess I can still describe as not having made it into my MA thesis. These will be a mix of the tried-and-tested historical, as well as some more contemporary musings. Wish me luck…

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