When The Bulbul Stopped Singing

by Shehadeh, Raja

A personal journal of living under siege in Palestine. Battered by repeated suicide bombs, the Israeli army invaded Palestine in April 2002 and held many of the principle towns, including Ramallah under siege. A tank stood at the end of Raja Shehadeh’s road; there were Israeli soldiers on the roof tops of the neighbouring block of flats; and four soldiers took over his brother’s flat, while his children tried to carry on playing with their game boys. This is an account of what it is like to be under siege: the terror, the frustrations, the humiliations and the rage. How can you pass your time when you are a prisoner in your own home? What do you do when you cannot cross the neighbourhood to help your sick mother? What is it really like to be under occupation? In extraordinarily clear prose, writer and activist, Raja Shehadeh kept a diary of occupation. It is a completely absorbing, profoundly moving and politically important document.