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"Gaza Writes Back" is a collection of short stories from fifteen young writers in Gaza, members of a generation that has suffered immensely under Israel's siege and blockade. Their experiences, especially during and following Israel's 2008-2009 offensive known as "Operation Cast Lead," have fundamentally impacted their lives and their writing. Indeed, many of these writers saw the war as a catalyst for their writing, as they sought an outlet and a voice in its aftermath. They view the book as a means of preserving Palestinian memories and presenting their narratives to the world without filters. Their words take us into the homes and hearts of moms, dads, students, children, and elders striving to live lives of dignity, compassion, and meaning in one of the world's most embattled communities. These stories are acts of resistance and defiance, proclaiming the endurance of Palestinians and the continuing resilience and creativity of their culture in the face of ongoing obstacles and attempts to silence them. Whether tackling the tragedy that surrounds missile strikes and home raids, or the everyday indignities encountered by Palestinian refugees, "Gaza Writes Back" brings to life the real issues that the people of Gaza face. One prominent theme in many of the stories is the wisdom of parents and grandparents. A sense of longing pervades the book, as the characters in the stories reveal desires ranging from the mundane to the complex--including, in several of the stories, a strong yearning to return to the characters' family homes and properties after many decades in exile. Social differences within Gaza are also sensitively explored. Readers will be moved by the struggles big and small that emerge from the well-crafted writing, and by the hope and courage that radiates from the authors' biographies. Five years after Operation Cast Lead, these stories remind us that the pain lingers on and the people of Gaza will be forever scarred by the attack. Yet, the call for justice remains forceful and persistent, and these young Gazan writers refuse to let the world forget about them--their land, their people, and their story.
Under the Israeli occupation of the '70s and '80s, writers in Gaza had to go to considerable lengths to ever have a chance of seeing their work in print. Manuscripts were written out longhand, invariably under pseudonyms, and smuggled out of the Strip to Jerusalem, Cairo or Beirut, where they then had to be typed up. Consequently, fiction grew shorter, novels became novellas, and short stories flourished as the city's form of choice. Indeed, to Palestinians elsewhere, Gaza became known as 'the exporter of oranges and short stories'. This anthology brings together some of the pioneers of the Gazan short story from that era, as well as younger exponents of the form, with ten stories that offer glimpses of life in the Strip that go beyond the global media headlines; stories of anxiety, oppression, and violence, but also of resilience and hope, of what it means to be a Palestinian, and how that identity is continually being reforged; stories of ordinary characters struggling to live with dignity in what many have called 'the largest prison in the world'.
In 1993, amira hass, a young Israeli reporter, drove to Gaza to cover a story-and stayed, the first journalist to live in the grim Palestinian enclave so feared and despised by most Israelis that, in the local idiom, "Go to Gaza" is another way to say "Go to hell." Now, in a work of calm power and painful clarity, Hass reflects on what she has seen in Gaza's gutted streets and destitute refugee camps. Drinking the Sea at Gaza maps the zones of ordinary Palestinian life. From her friends, Hass learns the secrets of slipping across sealed borders and stealing through night streets emptied by curfews. She shares Gaza's early euphoria over the peace process and its subsequent despair as hope gives way to unrelenting hardship. But even as Hass charts the griefs and humiliations of the Palestinians, she offers a remarkable portrait of a people not brutalized but eloquent, spiritually resilient, bleakly funny, and morally courageous. Full of testimonies and stories, facts and impressions, Drinking the Sea at Gaza makes an urgent claim on our humanity. Beautiful, haunting, and profound, it will stand with the great works of wartime reportage, from Michael Herr's Dispatches to Rian Malan's My Traitor's Heart.
Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s seven-week bombing campaign and ground invasion of Gaza in the summer of 2014, resulted in half a million displaced Gazans, tens of thousands of destroyed homes, and more than 2,000 deaths—and, yet, it was only the latest in a long series of assaults endured by Palestinians isolated in Gaza. But, following the conflict, polls revealed a startling fact: for the first time, a majority of Americans under thirty found Israel’s actions unjustified. Jon Stewart aired a blistering attack on Israeli violence, and a video of a UN spokesperson weeping as he was interviewed in Gaza went viral, appearing on Vanity Fair and Buzzfeed, among other sites. This book traces this swelling American recognition of Palestinian suffering, struggle, and hope, in writing that is personal, lyrical, anguished, and inspiring. Some of the leading writers of our time, such as Junot Díaz and Teju Cole, poets and essayists, novelists and scholars, Palestinian American activists like Huwaida Arraf, Noura Erakat, and Remi Kanazi, give voice to feelings of empathy and solidarity—as well as anger at US support for Israeli policy—in intimate letters, beautiful essays, and furious poems. This is a landmark work of controversial, committed literary writing. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Gaza is being bombed. Rashid - a young, clever Palestinian - has been smoking grass on the roof watching it happen when he gets the e-mail he has been desperate for: he's won a scholarship to London. Rashid's sister, Iman, frustrated by the atrocities and inaction around her, is beginning to take an interest in an Islamic resistance group. Sabri, their intellectual older brother, is working on a history of Palestine from his wheelchair while their mother pickles vegetables and feuds with the neighbours. Out of It follows the lives of Rashid and Iman as they try to forge places for themselves in the midst of occupation, the growing divide between Palestinian factions, and the rise of fundamentalism. Written with extraordinary humanity and humour, and moving between Gaza, London and the Gulf, this book helps to re-define Palestine and its people.
"The fifty-day Israel-Gaza conflict that began in early July of 2014 left over 2,100 people dead. The overwhelming majority of the dead were Palestinians, including some 500 children. Another 13,000-odd Palestinians were wounded, and 17,200 homes demolished. These statistics are sadly familiar, as is the political rhetoric from Israeli and Palestinian authorities alike. What is less familiar, however, is a sense of the ordinary Gazan society that war lays to waste. One of the few voices to make it out of Gaza was that of Atef Abu Saif, a writer and teacher from Jabalia refugee camp, whose eyewitness accounts ... offered a rare window into the conflict for Western readers. Here, Abu Saif's complete diaries of the war allow us to witness the events of 2014 from the perspective of a young father, fearing for his family's safety"--

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