The Sea Cloak by Nayrouz Qarmout

The Sea Cloak

Nayrouz Qarmout

Beautifully written stories which at times take on an almost ethereal quality. The joy of living overwhelms the feeling of frustration and fear in an oppressive occupation. Family life and the love of the Palestinian homeland are all important and the book gives us a rare insight into what it must be like to live in Gaza today. One to put onto your 'must read' pile.


The sea's symphony, familiar and divine, caressed her ears. Her heart slowed and reached out to the desolate expanse of water. She opened her eyes and was dazzled by golden ripples stretching out as far as she could see. Her body sunk into their warm embrace ....

Her feet no longer touched the ground and she grew afraid .... The people on the beach were tiny dots in the distance and she could barely distinguish them. They too must be no longer able to see her. A strong current was pulling her dress down and she shivered in alarm, sensing her strength fade and feeling she could no longer stay afloat. Her legs felt heavy with the material wrapped tightly around them and she wanted to pull it off but was afraid of her nakedness. She was afraid of death too, and of shame. She loved her life and felt suddenly alone. The sky was far above and the sea had grown menacing, its echoing boom resounding in her ears. Tears would not come although she desperately wanted to cry. She gave in to the current but, as she began to go under, a muscular arm suddenly encircled her.

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