Readings from the ‘Book of Gaza’

Wish I was in London for this!

Arabic Literature (in English)

If you’re on London May 27, then you’ll want to find your way to SOAS, where Nayrouz Qarmout will read from the short-story collection The Book of Gaza:

Gaza cover artwork_HR (2) copy

If you’re not in London, then stage your own May 27 reading, silent or otherwise.

The ten-story collection is edited by Atef Abu Saif, who is shortlisted for this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). Tomorrow evening, we will  find out whether Abu Saif’s A Suspended Life is the 2015 IPAF winner. Even if not, you will surely be hearing much more about Abu Saif, as he recently released a must-read memoir, The Drone Eats With Me, and was the winner of a recent London residency. He also has the most compelling short story in The Book of Gaza, which is a varied, interesting collection that ranges over four decades of Gazan literary production.

Four of the writers included in the collection are young women: Najlaa Ataallah…

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Stories of the Day – May 4, 2015

So right now it looks more like I’ll be sharing what I’m reading with you, instead of doing a lot of writing myself. Don’t worry, it will come! There are SO many things going on in the world that it’s almost impossible to keep up with it all. Here are just a few things that I’ve found interesting today:

  • Israeli veterans say permissive rules of engagement fueled Gaza carnage
    • This just makes me sick: “The soldiers described reducing Gaza neighborhoods to sand, firing artillery at random houses to avenge fallen comrades, shooting at innocent civilians because they were bored and watching armed drones attack a pair of women talking on cellphones because they were assumed to be Hamas scouts.” [emphasis mine]
    • “A first sergeant serving in the Mechanized Infantry in Gaza told the group, “If we don’t see someone waving a white flag, screaming, ‘I give up’ or something — then he’s a threat and there’s authorization to open fire.” “
  • Israel committed war crimes in Gaza: Amnesty
    • ” “All the evidence we have shows this large-scale destruction was carried out deliberately and with no military justification,” said Philip Luther, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.“War crimes must be independently and impartially investigated and those responsible should be brought to justice in fair trials.”

      Evidence including statements by the Israeli military at the time indicate the attacks were “a collective punishment against the people of Gaza” designed to destroy their livelihoods, Luther added. ” [emphasis mine]

Guys, remember – killing civilians is against international law. Collective punishment is against international law. Bombing schools, hospitals, and UN facilities is against international law. (repeat ad nauseam until the people with the bombs get it through their thick skulls) (this goes for everyone with bombs).