The next installation of the DIALOGUES series, Filipino Workers in the Middle East brings together the anthropologist Nadine Naber and literary critic Allan Punzalan Isaac to talk about the many ways in which Filipinos as caregivers have become part of the national family throughout the Middle East. As Naber’s experiences with Filipino nannies on the cusp of the Arab Spring and Isaac’s analysis of the Israeli documentary Paper Dolls reveal, Filipinos’ incorporation into the family is frequently ambivalent and always strategic. Drawing on the work of anthropologist Martin Manalansan, they consider how “frictive histories”—the distinct histories and experiences that trail migratory bodies into sometimes uncomfortable contact—mediate and complicate the possibilities for worker solidarity between Filipinos and Palestinians who are variously and unequally deployed by the Zionist state in its construction of racial and geographic hegemony.
UPDATE: On March 23, 2014, Dr. David Lloyd interviewed Dr. Allan Isaac and Dr. Nadine Naber about the situation of Filipino and Filipina guest workers in the Middle East and Israel. The interview was broadcast by SWANA Region Radio (KPFK 90.7fm in Los Angeles, CA).
You can listen to the interview here