November 04, 2011

In your eyes a sandstorm?

Another day another question mark. In Your Eyes a Sandstorm is journalist and author (and friend of mine) Arthur Neslen's latest book on Palestine and is subtitled "ways of being Palestinian".  It's a wonderful book and it reminds me of the autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley.  Arthur has Palestinians from different generations of struggle and from the various Palestinian communities: West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, Israel and the diaspora, detail their autobiographies to him with the author providing historical, geographical or political background, together with his own questions and thoughts as appropriate.

Here's the description from the publishers, University of California Press:
Who are the Palestinians? In this compelling book of interviews, Arthur Neslen reaches beyond journalistic clichés to let a wide variety of Palestinians answer the question for themselves. Beginning in the present with Bisan and Abud, two traumatized children from Jenin’s refugee camp, the book’s narrative arcs backwards through the generations to come full circle with two elderly refugees from villages that the children were named after. Along the way, Neslen recounts a history of land, resistance, exile, and trauma that begins to explain Abud’s wish to become a martyr and Bisan’s dream of a Palestine empty of Jews. Senior Fatah and Hamas figures relate key events of the Palestinian experience—the Second Intifada, Oslo Process, First Intifada, Thawra, 1967 War, the Naqba, and the Great Arab Revolt of 1936—in their own words. The extraordinary voices of women, children, farmers, fighters, drug dealers, policeman, doctors, and others, spanning the political divide from Salafi Jihadists to Israeli soldiers, bring the Palestinian story to life even as their words sow seeds of hope in the scorched Palestinian earth.
The book takes its title from a poem by Tawfiq Ziad.

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