• Jerusalemites

    Dr Hazem Zaki Nusseibeh

    As a senior politician and diplomat, the lure of Jerusalem, the city of his birth, remained strong.

  • Threads of Identity

    Widad Kamel Kawar

    A record of 50 years Kawar spent researching, collecting and preserving part of the Palestinian heritage.

  • Palestinian Embroidery Motifs

    Margarita Skinner

    The tradition of embroidery is one of the great art forms of village life in Palestine.

  • Nostos

    Maath al-Alousi

    Despite the layer of a sweet sadness that is suspended over it, the city does not sleep at night...

  • To Palestine with Love

    Najwa Kawar Farah

    Najwa Kawar Farah relates emotions of love and longing in this moving collection of poetry and paintings.

  • Lovesong

    Afaf Zurayk

    An exquisite celebration of one of the deepest and strongest of human emotions.

  • Rue du Mexique

    Suhail Bulos

    From tales of surreptitious teenage romances in Jerusalem, to day-long curfews during the Lebanese civil war and a renegade rooster in Beirut.

  • Vanished

    Ahmed Masoud

    A fictional story set against the political unrest in Palestine, following a young boy trying to find his father.

  • Glafkos Clerides

    Niyazi Kizilyurek

    An intellectual journey in the modern political history of Cyprus.

 

In the Press

Find out what prominent press and media outlets have to say about our authors and publications. Browse through reviews in our 'in the press' library.

Click to View

January 10, 2014

THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE - Reflections from Palestine

Several books appear on the shelves every month about the Occupation of Palestine. Very few of them are actually written from within Palestine, and even fewer are written by Palestinians. Of course, you can never judge a book by its writer, but it's about time for Palestinian writers to start to fill the gaps and produce narratives of their own.

 

Samia Nasir Khoury is one of those writers. She was an active community volunteer, who served as national president of the YWCA in Palestine, and as president of Rawdat El-Zuhur School in Jerusalem. She is also a founding member of the board of trustees of Birzeit University and Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre.

 

The book is largely based on the reflections that she wrote throughout her busy life. She starts the book with the overnight reality of the 1967 war. She attended a family wedding one afternoon and the horrid Occupation occurred the next day. She talks about the bittersweet experience of seeing Pale stinian houses inside the areas occupied in 1948, and she speaks of her visits to the seashores of Jaffa where she was born.

 

Some of her stories are personal, like the deportation of her brother, the imprisonment of her son, and the assassination of her cousin. But she also tells the shared Palestinian stories of marriage, faith, resistance, funerals, weddings, food, family, and children. It is astonishing how, in being so personal, she manages to be so collective. Again and again, as I was reading through the stories, I found myself having to put the book aside and reflect on my own story and my own experience.

 

Although many of the Palestinian stories are those of anger, sadness, and despair, the strength of Samia's writing is in how she describes those difficult situations; she always lifts the reader up with stories of joy and success, never losing faith, dignity, or her sense of humour. She writes,
"As I was going through my documents I found a Tony Blair file, which turned out to be empty. As I started to delete the file a flashing sign appeared on my computer saying, ‘Cannot delete Tony Blair.' Indeed, one cannot delete Tony Blair."

 

This book is a comprehensive diary of Palestinian life over the last 40 years. As she chronicles the early days of the first Intifada, she vividly describes the sense of solidarity among the people, contrasting it with the disappointment, despair, and the hopelessness that we feel these days.

 

Samia writes, "This book is an inspiration from the Occupation, I assure you." She takes us back to the euphoria of peace following the signing of the Oslo accords and writes that the image of children throwing roses at the tanks instead of stones was a strange sign of hope-hope for peace. I highly recommend this book to all those who are interested in studying the first and the last victim of occupation, namely the "normality" of life. Because
under occupation anything can happen at any time, it is like "you get on the right foot, but you don't know if the other foot is going to follow.

 

Reviewed by Mahmoud Muna, The Educational Bookshop, Jerusalem

Reflections from Palestine
Download our Rimal catalogue or order a print edition.
Enter our Rimal Children's Book Award competition and get published.
Back to Top

PO Box 57017
3311, Limassol
Cyprus
Tel: +(357) 25 580029
Fax: +(357) 25 580039
Email: info@rimalbooks.com

© 2017 Rimal Publications. All Rights Reserved. | Design & Development by Element C2