I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic
It’s now a week since I came back to Amman from doing three book launches for the Leila Khaled biography in Palestine – Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem. All three events went well in their different ways, with questioning, interesting audiences. In Jerusalem I was privileged to have Ziad Abu Zayyad, co-founder and editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal, as the moderator, and in Ramallah and Bethlehem I was honoured to be accompanied by two very dear friends, Ihab Shalbak and Jamal Saad. It was a complex, moving and challenging experience.
There are, of course, certain ironies attendant on that first paragraph. Firstly, that I could launch this book in Palestine and Leila Khaled herself cannot. And secondly, that no Palestinian woman was on stage for any of the events. That was not the plan – a different interlocutor was intended for one of the events but was not, in the end, available. But it is to be regretted.
Thanks to the unceasing energy of Mahmoud Muna of the Educational Bookshop and to the beautiful Mai, the launches have had some good coverage in the local press, including on Panet and in the review section of Al-Quds newspaper. The events have also inspired some thoughtful blog posts, from Tristan Laing and from Georgina Reeves.
Thanks to Susannah Tarbush at The Tanjara, there’s also a new review to add to the list.