Book Review: My Name is Adam

One cannot speak of the Palestinian Nakba of 1948 without touching upon identity and its ramifications. Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury’s novel, My Name is Adam is replete with questions and answers regarding identity, juxtaposed against inscribed recollections of the ethnic cleansing of Lydda. No matter the veneer one strives to don as part of the journey moving…

Book Review: Palestine and Rule of Power. Local Dissent vs International Governance

This collection of well-researched essays provides an insight into the dynamics of how neoliberalism is woven within the Zionist colonial process and how it has created two opposing camps, succinctly described in the foreword by Richard Falk as the failure of UN diplomacy and the existing possibilities of Palestinian anti-colonial struggle. The neoliberal framework depoliticises…

Book review: Aya Dane

 Mhani Alaoui lays bare the cliché of “forgotten memories” in her latest novel, Aya Dane (Interlink Books, 2018). Likewise, the perceptions of nostalgia and identity as imagined by an outsider also contribute to shifting memory into an isolated place. An implosion takes place which, for Aya Dane, starts unravelling when she received a letter from an art…

BOOK REVIEW: The Palestinian Novel from 1948 to the present

Bashir Abu-Manneh’s detailed study “The Palestinian novel: From 1948 to the present” (Cambridge University Press, 2016) combines the historical processes of Palestinian memory and postcolonial and literary theory in a manner which brings the various narratives and experiences of Palestinians to the fore. There is a unifying factor identified by the author – dispossession –…

BOOK REVIEW ‘Mahmoud Darwish: Literature and the politics of Palestinian identity’

Far from accentuating the glorification that is synonymous with Mahmoud Darwish and his beautiful poetry, the new biography “Mahmoud Darwish: literature and the politics of Palestinian identity” by Muna Abu Eid (I.B. Tauris, 2016) is a competent exercise in revealing the intricacies of Palestinian collective memory combined with the complex persona of the man himself….

BOOK REVIEW:Life Lived in Relief — Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics

Refugee narratives beyond those which reach the mainstream media are fraught with complexities, while humanitarian aid remains insufficient. Ilana Feldman’s treatise “Life Lived in Relief — Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics” (University of California Press, 2018) focuses on the discrepancies between the political and purportedly apolitical dynamics of the humanitarian sector. Feldman’s overview of…

BOOK REVIEW: Jerusalem Stands Alone

Space, silence and encroachment intertwine, while a prevailing solitude emanates from the pages of Mahmoud Shukair’s novel ‘Jerusalem Stands Alone’, translated by Nicola Fares and published by Syracuse University Press. The title itself is an intense metaphor that is felt throughout the book. Jerusalem is alone and its inhabitants navigate the space between community relations,…

BOOK REVIEW: Hamas, Jihad and Popular Legitimacy

Veering away from the disparaging rhetoric that characterises the West’s intentional misrepresentation of Hamas, Tristan Dunning’s informative treatise Hamas, jihad and popular legitimacy (Routledge 2016) employs a rigorous dissection of how resistance has shaped recognition of the movement in Palestine. He looks at this both as an alternative to the corruption embodied by the Palestinian Authority, as…

BOOK REVIEW: Rest In My Shade

There is always a time between the concepts of the present and forever which is inscribed in our remembrance. It is the beauty of memory which enables us to transcend and live within this truth. “Rest in My Shade” (Interlink Books, 2018) explores this reality through an illustrated poem about roots and Palestinian collective memory….

BOOK REVIEW: Hamas and the Media – politics and strategy

Wael Abdelal’s informative treatise, “Hamas and the Media: politics and strategy” draws upon the issue of counter-hegemony to portray the relevance and importance of resistance media, in this case, the role which the media has played to further the politics of Hamas. The counter-hegemonic narrative is paramount in this study. As the author describes, the…