Cover image for Palestine speaks : narratives of life under occupation
Palestine speaks : narratives of life under occupation
Publication Information:
San Francisco, California : Voice of Witness, 2014.
Physical Description:
346 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS119.76 .P355 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
DS119.76 .P355 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DS119.76 .P355 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DS119.76 .P355 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DS119.76 .P355 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DS119.76 .P355 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DS119.76 .P355 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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The occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has been one of the world's most widely reported yet least understood human rights crises for over four decades. In this oral history collection, men and women from Palestine--including a fisherman, a settlement administrator, and a marathon runner--describe in their own words how their lives have been shaped by the historic crisis. Other narrators include:

ABEER, a young journalist from Gaza City who launched her career by covering bombing raids on the Gaza Strip.

IBTISAM, the director of a multi-faith children's center in the West Bank whose dream of starting a similar center in Gaza has so far been hindered by border closures.

GHASSAN, an Arab-Christian physics professor and activist from Bethlehem who co-founded the International Solidarity Movement.

Author Notes

Cate Malek and Mateo Hoke began working together in 2001 while studying journalism at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Their interest in human rights journalism began on a project in which they spent eight months interviewing undocumented Mexican immigrants about their daily lives. Cate now lives in the West Bank where she works as an editor and teaches English at Bethlehem University. She previously worked as a newspaper reporter, receiving multiple Colorado Press Association awards. Mateo holds a master'sdegree from the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. In addition to his work in the Middle East, he has reported from the Amazon jungle and the Seychelles. His writing has received awards from the Overseas Press Club Foundation and the Knight Foundation, among others.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

This eloquent study shows the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the West Bank and Gaza through the eyes of the people who live it each day. Hoke and Malek have transcribed 15 interviews, out of many more conducted over the course of four years, to convey a diverse cross-section of Palestinian life. They begin with the director of a West Bank children's center, whose disabilities, caused by childhood polio, prove unexpectedly linked to the political impediments placed on her mobility. They go on to cover a young female Gaza journalist's uncomfortable attempts to negotiate the patriarchal Hamas government and a Bethlehem defense lawyer's memories of two decades within an Israeli prison. Since Israelis now make up an estimated 10% of the occupied territories' population, the editors also include two Israeli voices-one belonging to a security officer for an Israeli settlement and the other to an activist opposed to the West Bank wall. Though the book's somewhat narrow focus excludes Palestinian experiences within Israel or the wider diaspora, its grounding in personal experience and the contours of daily life still makes for an excellent introduction to a controversial subject. Hoke and Malek's work should prove a sturdy and revelatory resource for those looking for a deeper understanding of an intractable conflict. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Malek and Hoke spent nearly four years interviewing more than 50 individuals while working on this compilation. Their focus is on the experiences of Palestinian people. Those interviewed-16 of whom were chosen to be represented in this collection-narrate their stories, offering their experiences living, working, and struggling to survive in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Two of the accounts are offered by Israeli citizens, who comprise roughly ten percent of the population in the occupied territories. Each person's narrative shows pervasive exposure to ongoing violence. A common theme throughout the Palestinians' heartbreaking descriptions is a lack of optimism or hope for an improved future while currently surviving on exiguous means. In some cases, these voices suggest fighting for the future but ultimately speak as though failure is inevitable. In contrast, both Israeli citizens indicate that they see the situation improving and believe that there is hope ahead. The stark differences in the citizens' lives that develop these opposite mind-sets is made clear as these people share their most intimate struggles. VERDICT An absolute must for anyone interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict or with an interest in human rights. This book, similar to the other titles in the series, is an excellent way of developing a deeper understanding of people living the encounters about which we read in the papers and watch on the news.-Brenna Smeall, AtoZdatabases, Omaha, NE (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This very informative collection of 16 narratives is another in the Voice of Witness organization's series of oral histories with people in difficult circumstances. It engages readers in life under Israeli occupation in both Gaza and the West Bank, including two interviews with Israelis (not Israeli Palestinians). Remarkable in capturing their hopes and despair, as well as the struggle to make a life under extraordinary difficulty, these narratives (assembled from several interviews to create each narrative) provide an excellent introduction to the Israel/Palestinian nation-building process, with all its conflicts and injustices. People from all walks of life discuss their situations with candor and insight. The two Israeli interviews are particularly arresting. Although the authors have deep sympathy for the Palestinians, living and working as they did in the occupied territories while collecting interviews, footnotes are fair and informative. Key to making this a good book for those with little awareness of the Palestinians' situation is 50 pages of appendixes, including a time line of modern Palestine, a ten-page glossary, and informative descriptions of major background facts. Educators using this book can access a common core-aligned curriculum and curriculum support from Voice of Witness. Summing Up: Essential. All public and undergraduate levels/libraries. --Garth M. Massey, University of Wyoming

Table of Contents

Cate Malek and Mateo Hokemimi lokIbtisam IlzghayyerAbeer AyyoubLaith Al-HlouAbdelrahman Al-AhmarRiyam Kafri Abu LabanAmiad CohenEbtihaj Be'eratGhassan AndoniJamal BakrFadi ShihabWafa Al-UdainiAhmad Al-QaraeenMuhanned Al-AzzahTali ShapiroKifah QatashNader Al-MasriAllegra PachecoNicolas PelhamRiyam Kafri Abu Laban
Introduction: Between Us Bread and Saltp. 11
Executive Editor's Notep. 19
Map of West Bank and the Gaza Stripp. 21
Cultural center directorp. 23
Journalistp. 43
Farmer, day laborerp. 63
Lawyerp. 75
Chemistry professor, bloggerp. 97
Executive of the Eli Settlementp. 117
Homemakerp. 131
Physics professorp. 149
Fishermanp. 175
Computer technicianp. 185
NGO workerp. 207
Shop ownerp. 217
Artistp. 227
English-Hebrew translatorp. 249
Homemaker studentp. 263
Semi-professional runnerp. 285
Appendicesp. 293
I Timeline of Modern Palestinep. 295
II Glossaryp. 304
III Palestine and International Lawp. 314
IV Gaza's Tunnel-Based Economyp. 321
V Palestinian Demographicsp. 340
VI In Waitingp. 341
Acknowledgmentsp. 343
About the Editorsp. 346