Ibtisam Azem: وسفر الاختفاء (The Book of Disappearance)

The latest addition to my website is Ibtisam Azem‘s وسفر الاختفاء (The Book of Disappearance). The book is set primarily in Jaffa. Alaa is a Palestinian who works as a cameraman. At the beginning of the book his beloved grandmother dies and much of the book is tribute to her and the sufferings she and the other Palestinians have suffered since the nakba. While we are learning about various Palestinians and what they have suffered, suddenly, overnight, all the Palestinians in Israel simply disappear. No explanation is given. We follow the reactions, with Ariel, Alaa’s Israeli friend, who is reading Alaa’s notebook about his grandmother and his views, while many other Israelis are rejoicing that their problem has gone. This is a wonderful book, showing both what the Palestinians have suffered and continue to suffer and the Israelis’ reaction to their disappearance.

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