Palestinian Walks Forays into a Vanishing Landscape

ISBN-10: 1416569669
ISBN-13: 9781416569664
Edition: 2008
Authors: Raja Shehadeh
List price: $15.99 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: Raja Shehadeh is a passionate hill walker. He enjoys nothing more than heading out into the countryside that surrounds his home. But in recent years, his hikes have become less than bucolic and sometimes downright dangerous. That is because his home  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.99
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 6/3/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.198
Language: English

Raja Shehadeh is a passionate hill walker. He enjoys nothing more than heading out into the countryside that surrounds his home. But in recent years, his hikes have become less than bucolic and sometimes downright dangerous. That is because his home is Ramallah, on the Palestinian West Bank, and the landscape he traverses is now the site of a tense standoff between his fellow Palestinians and settlers newly arrived from Israel. In this original and evocative book, we accompany Raja on six walks taken between 1978 and 2006. The earlier forays are peaceful affairs, allowing our guide to meditate at length on the character of his native land, a terrain of olive trees on terraced hillsides, luxuriant valleys carved by sacred springs, carpets of wild iris and hyacinth and ancient monasteries built more than a thousand years ago. Shehadeh's love for this magical place saturates his renderings of its history and topography. But latterly, as seemingly endless concrete is poured to build settlements and their surrounding walls, he finds the old trails are now impassable and the countryside he once traversed freely has become contested ground. He is harassed by Israeli border patrols, watches in terror as a young hiking companion picks up an unexploded missile and even, on one occasion when accompanied by his wife, comes under prolonged gunfire. Amid the many and varied tragedies of the Middle East, the loss of a simple pleasure such as the ability to roam the countryside at will may seem a minor matter. But inPalestinian Walks,Raja Shehadeh's elegy for his lost footpaths becomes a heartbreaking metaphor for the deprivations of an entire people estranged from their land.

The Pale God of the Hills
The Albina Case
Illusory Portals
Monasteries in the Desert
And How Did You Get Over It?
An Imagined Sarha

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