The Book of Ramallah launch with Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, online, 25 February 2021, free entry - Visit now
Join Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and Manchester’s Comma Press for a journey to the West Bank as they launch the anthology The Book of Ramallah, with readings from writers Ameer Hamad and Ibrahim Nasrallah, alongside editor Maya Abu Al-Hayat. The Book of Ramallah is the latest title in Comma’s series on Reading The City, and this online conversation event will discuss both the book and the city.
The Book of Ramallah is the latest title in Comma’s series on Reading The City, and this online conversation event will discuss both the book and the city.
Edited by Beirut-born, Palestinian novelist and poet Maya Abu Al-Hayat, who lives in Jerusalem and works in Ramallah, this anthology explores the city in all its countless contradictions. The Book of Ramallah features stories from ten established and emerging Palestinian writers, including Anas Abu Rahma, Liana Badr, Khaled Hourani and Ahmad Jaber, and the readers featured tonight.
Ameer Hamad is a poet, short story writer and translator, who has published his work in numerous magazines and websites, including Beirut Literature Magazine and the New Arab website. He was born in Jerusalem in 1992 and graduated from Birzeit University with a major in Computer Science, and he is currently working on his first collection of short stories.
Ibrahim Nasrallah was born in 1954 to Palestinian parents who were evicted from their land in Palestine in 1948 and spent his childhood and youth in a refugee camp in Jordan. To date, he has published several books, including 15 poetry collections and 21 novels, and in 2018 his novel The Second Dog War won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) – sometimes referred to as the ‘Arab Booker’. In 2012, he won the inaugural Jerusalem Award for Culture and Creativity, and his novel Prairies of Fever was chosen by The Guardian as one of the ten most important novels written about the Arab world.
Ramallah is the cultural, commercial and governmental hub of the West Bank and the stories explore its defiance in resistance against the occupying forces, alongside its frustration and division by its secrets and conservatism. Characters fall in love, have affairs, poke fun at the heavy military presence, but also see their aspirations cut short, their lives eaten into, their morale beaten down by the daily humiliations of the conflict. Through humour, and precious moments of intimacy, however, we glimpse life inside this city of refuge; an image of hope abiding even under the eye of a merciless occupation.
If you can’t make it to this event, Maya and Ameer will be appearing at Lancaster Litfest in March – more here.
The Book of Ramallah launch with Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, online