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Gate of the Sun

by Elias Khoury

What cause should a man fight for? This lyrical, almost biblical saga of civil war, persecution and exile draws on true-life tales from refugees in the Palestine-Isreali conflict. The distinction between myth and history is blurred, as the narrator questions the notions of heroism and martyrdom. A must read for those of us who struggle to untangle the recent history of the Middle East, told with compassionate evenhandedness for all sides in the conflict.

Extract

This Palestine, no matter how many names they give it, will always be Palestine. But tell me, in the faces of those people being driven to slaughter, didn't you see something resembling your own? Don't tell me you didn't know. Don't say, 'It wasn't my fault'. You and I and every human on the face of the planet should have known and not stood by in silence, should have prevented that beast from destroying its victims in that unprecedented manner. Not because the victims were Jews but because their death meant the death of the humanity within us.
Translated by Humphrey Davies

Parallels

I Saw Ramallah by Mouria Barghouti
Ports of Call by Amin Maalouf
 

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