When the Exile Brings a Key
The purpose of this presentation is to configure a poetics of Palestinian imaginings of return. Drawing on linguistically diverse memoirs, Ebileeni explores the conceptual tensions between national imaginings of "al-awdah" and their disruptive impact on virtual realizations of this desire, while simultaneously, reveal-ing the authors' culturally distinct experiences of exile. Palestinians' points of departure may appear identical since they share conceptions of "home" that are deeply rooted in a unified national configura-tion of more or less similar memories or narrations, depending on generation. However, their journeys to the "homeland" reveal distinct diasporic experiences, representing both the ongoing cultural prolifer-ations of the various displaced Palestinian communities and their ramifications in processes of identifica-tion. In this context. the identifiable symbolic key handed down by the exiled patriarch does not only refer to a common collective desire, but has also come to represent a token for past and current cultur-al diversities among Palestinians.