Mahmoud Shukair : القدس و حدها هناك (Jerusalem Stands Alone)

The latest addition to my website is Mahmoud Shukair‘s لقدس و حدها هناك (Jerusalem Stands Alone). This is a series of closely linked (very) short stories telling the stories of a Palestinian family, the unamed Palestinian narrator, a few other linked characters and the city of Jerusalem, a key character in this book. Our family (father, mother, two daughters and two absent sons, one in prison and a French woman tenant ) have no documents proving their ownership and when five bearded, armed Jews move in next door, they start to worry. Our narrator starts an affair with one of the daughters, all the while looking at Jerusalem and its history. Yoram, the police chief, has difficulty distinguishing between Jerusalem present and past as he sees characters from the past and tries to arrest long dead people. It is all cleverly done and gives us an excellent portrait of Jerusalem as it is now under Israeli occupation, as it has been and as it might be, with the comment that conquerors come and go but Jerusalem survives.

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