Gaza Writes Back
Gaza Writes Back is a collection of short stories from fifteen young writers in Gaza, members of a generation that has suffered immensely under Israel’s siege and blockade. Their experiences, especially during and following Israel’s 2008-2009 offensive known as “Operation Cast Lead”, have fundamentally impacted their lives and their writing. Indeed, many of these writers saw the war as a catalyst for their writing, as they sought an outlet and a voice in its aftermath. They view the book as a means of preserving Palestinian memories and presenting their narratives to the world without filters. Their words take us into the homes and hearts of moms, dads, students, children, and elders striving to live lives of dignity, compassion, and meaning in one of the world’s most embattled communities. These stories are acts of resistance and defiance, proclaiming the endurance of Palestinians and the continuing resilience and creativity of their culture in the face of ongoing obstacles and attempts to silence them. Whether tackling the tragedy that surrounds missile strikes and home raids, or the everyday indignities encountered by Palestinian refugees, Gaza Writes Back brings to life the real issues that the people of Gaza face. One prominent theme in many of the stories is the wisdom of parents and grandparents. A sense of longing pervades the book, as the characters in the stories reveal desires ranging from the mundane to the complex–including, in several of the stories, a strong yearning to return to the characters’ family homes and properties after many decades in exile. Social differences within Gaza are also sensitively explored. Readers will be moved by the struggles big and small that emerge from the well-crafted writing, and by the hope and courage that radiates from the authors’ biographies. Five years after Operation Cast Lead, these stories remind us that the pain lingers on and the people of Gaza will be forever scarred by the attack. Yet, the call for justice remains forceful and persistent, and these young Gazan writers refuse to let the world forget about them–their land, their people, and their story.