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The Mysterious Disappearance of Mustafa Ouda

What does it take to discover the truth? Betrayal? Deception? Risking one's own life? Omar Ouda did it all.

Vanished is a fictional story set against the political unrest in Palestine, following a young boy trying to find his father. The deeper he delves into his father's mysterious disappearance, the more he finds himself forced to make terrible choices, testing his loyalty to his country and his family. The book is also about friendship born out of difficult circumstances, presented here through the character of Ahmed who risks his life to help his friend in the quest to find his father.

Omar's journey is fictional; however, it describes real life in Palestine's Gaza Strip between 1981 and 2011. This period witnessed three major events that have shaped the current situation - the first Intifada, the Oslo Accords and the second Intifada. While politics provide an important background to the story, the novel does not aim to put forth any political arguments. Instead, it sheds light on what it is like for two young boys to lead an ordinary life in an extraordinary place often described as ‘hell on earth.'

Shortlisted - Palestine Book Awards 2015
Shortlisted by The Middle East Monitor for the MEMO Palestine Book Awards 2015.


'fast-paced and compelling' - MEMO Palestine Book Awards

'Vanished is an accomplished novel that, quietly and without didacticism, gets to the heart of the terrible sacrifices demanded of a people living in a state of permanent, unrelenting siege.' - The New Internationalist

'Mixing a thriller story with the reality of life in the Palestinian occupied territories. Vanished is a novel which can be enjoyed by a wide public, not only by people interested in the Arab world.' - Banipal Magazine

'Vanished is a recommended read and Masoud's is a sensitive and intelligent voice. It tells a story that could play out well on the screen.' - The Electronic Intifada

'...a nuanced chronicle of one of the world's most troubled regions.' - Qantara

'...rebellion and hope in print.' - Bookglow

‘Vanished takes the reader deep into Gazan society....constant twists, and the suspense is maintained until its final pages.' - The Tanjara 

'Masoud is skilful at building up suspense; he drops no early hints of what happened to Omar's father.' - The Jordan Times

'The twists and turns of Omar's journey through the novel leave no stone unturned.' - Full Stop

'It's hard to imagine how the characters in this book, like the residents of Gaza themselves, manage to lead normal lives in a very abnormal, besieged society.' - Times of Israel 

'There are many bittersweet references to the idea of loss and return; the lost country, the lost father. The resolution of those themes, when it comes, towards the end of the novel, is both startling and unexpected.' - Rebecca Sowray, Louder Than War


Size 145 x 215 mm
204 pages
Rimal Books, 2016
ISBN: 978 9963 715 13 8


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