Beyond the Smoke: The Story of Hashish

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A conversation on the story and social history of hashish featuring Haggai Ram, author of Intoxicating Zion, and led by Akin Ajayi

About this Event

Join us on January 27th on Zoom for Beyond the Smoke: The Story of Hashish!

Jerusalism and The Tel Aviv Review of Books present a conversation with Haggai Ram on his recent book about the story of hashish.

In the Middle East, hashish has always been more than just a way of passing the day. From the end of the Ottoman Empire on, hashish has often played a pivotal—if largely unacknowledged—role in successive rounds of jostling for social and political hegemony. Nowhere more so than in Mandatory Palestine, key waystation for distributing the (illegal) substance across the region and a thriving consumption market to boot. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Hashish continued to influence social discourse in many ways: an effective means of enforcing socio-political boundaries, an instrument of criminal activity writ both large and small, and—perhaps unexpectedly—an occasional tool for geo-political meddling.

Intoxicating Zion, by Haggai Ram, is a lively social history of hashish in twentieth-century Palestine and Israel. Professor Ram, in conversation with Akin Ajayi of the Tel Aviv Review of Books, will tell us why we should pay more attention to our favourite narcoleptic, and how a history of the substance can offer a unique glimpse into the shaping of the modern Middle East.

A little about the featured guest:

Prof. Haggai Ram is a historian of the Middle East, and teaches at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva. Intoxicating Zion is his fourth book, following Myth and Mobilization in Revolutionary Iran (1994), Reading Iran in Israel: The Self and the Other, Religion and Modernity (2006), and Iranophobia: The Logic of an Israeli Obsession (2009).

To check out Haggai Ram's work Intoxicating Zion, click here and to see more of his works click here.

And the MC:

Akin Ajayi is co-editor of the Tel Aviv Review of Books. See more of Ajayi's work here.


Tel Aviv Review of Books

The Tel Aviv Review of Books is an online, English-language magazine dealing with all aspects of the Israeli world of letters. The TARB seeks to become the preeminent venue for intellectual discussions about Israeli politics, society, art and culture, covering the broadest possible spectrum of perspectives and opinions in Israel and about Israel for an international audience. The journal includes reviews, interviews, and long-form essays dealing with the major issues of the day from perspectives across the Israeli political, religious, and social spectrum. It also features work by international commentators on Israel. Read more on the TARB site.


Jerusalism is an initiative to promote Israeli literature in English. Event info is regularly updated through the Jerusalism Facebook Page. Jerusalism is currently fundraising to build a website and expand our online programming. Please visit the Jerusalism Patreon Page and consider contributing to our grassroots literary efforts. We have some big plans for future programing, and together we can make them happen! To receive regular updates about Jerusalism events, please join the Jerusalism mailing list.

Tickets — Voluntary Donation

The event is free, though we ask that if you have the means, please donate an amount of your choice when registering. The proceeds will go to Jerusalism to support their ongoing literary efforts.

How does it work?

This event will be held over ZOOM.

***The link for the event will be provided after registration.***

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Please arrive 5-10mins in advance to ensure you’re connected and ready to go.

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