Ibrahim Nasrallah : زمن الخيول البيضاء (Time of White Horses)

The latest addition to my website is Ibrahim Nasrallah ‘s زمن الخيول البيضاء (Time of White Horses). This is a long novel, actually three related novels in a row, telling of the fate of a Palestinian village, Hadiya (which means peaceful) and its inhabitants from the late nineteenth century and the fading of the Ottoman Empire to 1948, the Nakba and the creation of the state of Israel. We follow the stories of the various generations in Hadiya and how they struggle against the brutality, cruelty and abuse of the Ottomans, the British and the Jews. We see their bravery, their resourcefulness and their struggles against the three occupiers but we know that it is not going to end well for them. While we follow the actions around Hadiya – a new Jewish settlement, legal attempts to steal their lands, heavy Ottoman taxes and night raids by the British and the Jews – we also see the bigger picture, particularly the lack of coordination between the Arab armies and the British helping the Jews to take the Palestinians’ lands and to drive them out. Nasrallah tells us lots of excellent stories while at the same time showing how a peaceful people had their lands and often their lives stolen from them.

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