Reading the City: The Book of Ramallah
Tuesday 16th March 7:30pm
The Palestinian city of Ramallah is a place of countless contradictions; defiant in its resistance against the Israeli occupation, but frustrated and divided by its own 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, these stories give us a glimpse of life inside this city of refuge, and provide an image of hope in an impossible situation.
Maya Abu Al-Hayat is a Beirut-born Palestinian novelist and poet living in Jerusalem, but working in Ramallah. She has published two poetry books, numerous children’s stories and three novels, including her latest No One Knows His Blood Type (2013). She is the director of the Palestine Writing Workshop, an institution that seeks to encourage reading in Palestinian communities through creative writing projects and storytelling with children and teachers.
Amer 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, graduated from Birzeit University, with a major in Computer Science and is currently working on his first collection of short stories.
Lindsey Moore is Reader in Postcolonial Literature at Lancaster University and has published extensively on Arab World literature. Her most recent book is Narrating Postcolonial Arab Nations (2017). With Nadia Atia she is currently co-writing Global Literature and the Arab World.