Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

The Palestine Hotel, Nablus

Sitting in the University Library at Cambridge, reading the sculptor Eric Gill’s diaries of his trip to Palestine in 1934 (he had been commissioned by the architect Austen St. Barbe … Continue reading

April 21, 2017 · 1 Comment

Gazan writers denied UK entry

It can, of course, be taken as read that the UK Border Agency are utter bastards, but that doesn’t stop me getting very, very angry at individual cases. Here’s the … Continue reading

June 18, 2013 · 1 Comment

RIP Rabea

A few hours ago the Freedom Theatre in Jenin put out this short statement: The Freedom Theatre mourns the death of one of our graduated Acting School students, the brave … Continue reading

April 30, 2013 · 2 Comments

Overheard on a train

On the subject of holidaying in Bulgaria: “oh yes, there’s loads to do there. It’s almost like Blackpool”. Which leads me to wonder…?

April 23, 2013 · Leave a comment

Seeing the Alhambra

The Alhambra (al-Qasr al-Hamra) in Granada is one of the most stunning buildings in the world. Its late-Islamic Andalucian decorations are breathtaking in their intricacy and delicacy, and the newly-renovated … Continue reading

January 10, 2013 · 1 Comment

Spain and Syria: graffiti

It may be easy to forget in modern Spain, but Franco’s dictatorship and the civil war are really not that far in the past; certainly General Franco was in power … Continue reading

January 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Palestine travel writing competition

As a result of my work on the Bradt Guide to Palestine, I’ve been privileged to be asked to judge a travel writing competition on Palestine. The competition is being … Continue reading

September 5, 2012 · Leave a comment

Liptons on the ceiling

A recent conversation with a friend reminded me of this photo, which I took three years ago: It shows the ceiling of the ground floor of the bus station in … Continue reading

July 23, 2012 · 1 Comment

New article: Rebuilding Jordan's desert castles

The Arab Review, 27th June 2012 With reconstruction work in full swing, the setting inside the palace is as strange as the view from outside. The elegant green marble pillars … Continue reading

June 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

Tourism, gentrification and the planned demise of Palestinian Akka

The Guardian ran this sad piece by Harriet Sherwood yesterday, documenting the ongoing gentrification and de-Arabisation of the beautiful old city of Akka. Sherwood says: According to Arab activists in … Continue reading

June 25, 2012 · Leave a comment

Independent travel in Palestine

This month’s Wanderlust magazine features a full-length piece on independent travel in Palestine, written by Matthew Teller, author of the Rough Guide to Jordan and a seemingly unending list of … Continue reading

April 2, 2012 · 2 Comments

New article: A guide to Nablus

From Red Pepper magazine, February 2012 Leaving behind Ramallah and Bethlehem, with their expat communities and religious tour groups, what of the West Bank’s other cities? Sleepy desert Jericho? Hebron, … Continue reading

February 22, 2012 · Leave a comment

Conserving the Ain Ghazal statues

From the Visit Madaba twitter feed, this is an intriguing (if you have archaeology geek tendencies) video on the conservation of the Ain Ghazal statues from Jordan. These wonderful, spooky, … Continue reading

January 12, 2012 · Leave a comment

Bradt Palestine reviewed in Wanderlust

A lovely review of the Bradt Guide to Palestine appears in the February 2012 issue of Wanderlust, so many thanks to the amazing Dervla Murphy (I never thought when I … Continue reading

January 11, 2012 · Leave a comment