Al-‘Arakeeb and the Media
To understand how media has affected the life of the residents of Al-‘Arakeeb and what can be learned from its role in their life, we conducted interviews with residents of the village, social activists involved in the village’s fight for recognition, and journalists covering the Negev area for a variety of print and online media, in both Hebrew and Arabic. Virtually all villagers who lived in Al-‘Arakeeb after the demolition were interviewed, as were the activists who frequented it during numerous visits by the researchers. The villagers were aged twelve (accompanied by a parent serving as a translator) to seventy-five years old, with a wide range in between. All activists but one, who was older, were in their late twenties. All villagers except the twelve-year-old girl were male. The villagers’ education levels ranged from illiteracy and no schooling to university graduates. The activists all held or at least were studying for graduate degrees. All interviewees were promised anonymity. The journalists who agreed to be interviewed were among those who reported most frequently in local and national media (print, broadcast, and online) about Al-‘Arakeeb. Information was also obtained from media reports pertaining to specific events, such as demolitions, violent confrontations with authorities, and protest activities initiated by either the villagers or their supporters.