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Packed house in London for launch of ‘Gaza Writes Back’

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(Photo: Just world Books)

The London launch for Just World Books’ new work, Gaza Writes Back Jan.15, 2014 (Photo: Just world Books)

There was a packed house for the London launch of Just World Books’ Gaza Writes Back, Short stories from Young Writers in Gaza, Palestine yesterday and I’m jealous I couldn’t attend to witness contributing authors’ presentations reading their short stories from this book I love so much.

Jehan Alfarra and Rawan Yaghi

Victoria Brittain and contributing authors Rawan Yaghi and Jehan Alfarra, London promotional launch for Just World Books’ new work, Gaza Writes Back (Jan.15, 2014)

Jehan Alfarra and Rawan Yaghi were there in person and Editor Refaat Alareer and Yousef M. Aljamal were present on live stream. The launch included video presentations Sameeha Elwan Speaks , Hanan Habashi Speaks and Mohammed Suliman Speaks whose readings, compiled in this video below include dramatic, compelling artistic footage from Gaza:

The London promotional launch for Just World Books’ new work, Gaza Writes Back (Jan.15, 2014)

Packed house at the London launch for Just World Books’ new work, Gaza Writes Back (Jan.15, 2014)

Just World Books has the full report of the event at their Newsfeed.

And luckily,  Just World Books and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) are facilitating a “Google Hangout on Air” January 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm EST for a conversation with Refaat Alareer, Yousef Aljamal, Rawan Yaghi, and Sarah Ali (all Mondoweiss contributors!) Register here.



About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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6 Responses

  1. just
    just on January 16, 2014, 7:59 pm

    Super news! Yay!

    Thank you so much, Annie!

    • annie
      annie on January 16, 2014, 10:26 pm

      ;) no need to thank me, it’s an honor. i love this video too. listening to sameeha’s voice again now.

  2. Susie Kneedler
    Susie Kneedler on January 16, 2014, 10:40 pm

    Yes, Annie, thanks very much for helping us join the tribute from far away–next best thing to being there. I’m in awe of these young, brave, wise people: thanks to you, Adam, and Phil for letting us hear their rare spirits here at MW–or, not “rare” in Palestine.

    To the Authors, All of you teach us about having heart–in both senses, keeping on and feeling for all–whenever you speak, so of course I’ve ordered “Gaza Writes Back.” I can’t wait.
    And a special line to Rawan Yaghi: I’m haunted every day by what you told us here:

    • annie
      annie on January 16, 2014, 11:32 pm

      susie, rawan’s fiction is so …chilling. from your link:

      She was still cold. I was cold too but I thought she was so much colder. I sat right in the opposite of her and kept waiting her to wake up and drink my glass of water and then thank me for it.

      it’s almost scary, knowing before the little protagonist that her mother is dead.

      and this from rawan, exclusive to mondowiess…the very brief fictionalization of a true story, an incident we read about in the news.

      The flames embraced his sister and clutched to both his arms and leg. He felt his face being scratched. The screams of his mom and sister crawled to his mind vaguely.

      well, i happen to know that another one of her stories in gaza writes back (Spared) is based on a true story. i think i can safely say that because from a conversation i had with rawan she informed me she was going to disclose that as part of her presentation at the launch. (sorry rawan if you didn’t!) and it’s just incredible. i’m not a good enough writer to describe how good it is.

      this book is a little masterpiece. the stories stand alone, and individually are worth more than the price of the book all by themselves. they stay with you. but as a volume of work, it’s phenomenal.

      one of the stories in gaza writes back refaat sent me one night over a year ago. it was the very first story hana habashi ever wrote. (this was pre gaza writes back days, and how were any of us to know what lay in the future) i had never heard of her before. i was so spellbound after reading it i wrote him back that i thought it might be the best story i’d ever read! lol. i went crazy. i could probably write a story about every one of these stories. “when nothingness takes over, which happens quite often, i sit in my room, which is fully exposed to the sun, gazing at the tiny mark of the gunshot and the ugly crack it left there.”..and then her mind just begins to wander off …about an uncompleted story her father told her. i can’t say anymore, you have to read it yourself.

      and it goes without saying refaat is a mindblowing writer, and teacher too.

      i cannot go on because it would be unfair, i would have to name each and every author and their stories, no fair! lol.

      huge shout out to sameeha and sarah ;)

  3. Susie Kneedler
    Susie Kneedler on January 17, 2014, 6:57 am

    Yes, I feel the same: want to thank each artist who’s already written here–and that goes for all the MW reporters, too, of course~~

  4. amigo
    amigo on January 17, 2014, 9:53 am

    Slightly OT .
    A glimpse into how Israel treats it,s non Jewish X factor winners.

    “It was a fairytale come true when Rose Fostanes won Israel’s X-Factor this week, but now the diminutive Filipina caregiver has been informed that she is not allowed to perform in Israel.

    It transpires that Fostanes (47), who came to the country four years ago on a caregiver visa, is not allowed to earn a living except as a caregiver, and cannot perform, even though she is now a household name in Israel.

    You do not have a voice here.

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