Sahar Khalifeh : رواية (Wild Thorns)

The latest addition to my website is Sahar Khalifeh‘s رواية (Wild Thorns). Usama has been working in the Gulf states but has lost his job and is now returning home to the West Bank, nominally to get another job but also, possibly, to carry out a terrorist attack. He is horrified by what he finds – brutality at the customs checkpoint but also Palestinians consuming Israeli goods. His extended family are struggling and his cousin pretends to them he is working on the family farm but is actually working on a Israeli farm. But we also see the brutality of the Israelis – a worker who loses his fingers denied an ambulance, houses blown up if one family member misbehaves. Prison radicalises some of them but Usama is torn between his revolutionary duty and loyalty to his family. Khalifeh portrays this duality well but is in no doubt about the horrors of the Israeli occupation.

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