Life in Palestine today - what it is really like - day to day, from the Orwell Prize winning author, Raja Shehadeh.
It is often the smallest details of daily life that tell us the most. And so it is under occupation in Palestine. What most of us take for granted has to be carefully thought about and planned for: When will the post be allowed to get through? Will there be enough water for the bath tonight? How shall I get rid of the rubbish collecting outside? How much time should I allow for the journey to visit my cousin, going through checkpoints? And big questions too: Is working with left-wing Israelis collaborating or not? What affect will the Arab Spring have on the future of Palestine? What can anyone do to bring about change? Are any of life's pleasures untouched by politics?
Raja Shehadeh is Palestine's leading writer. He is also a lawyer and the founder of the pioneering Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq. He is the author of several acclaimed books includingStrangers in the House andA Rift in Timeand winner of the 2008 Orwell Prize forPalestinian Walks (all Profile).
'Praise forPalestinian Walks:'Few Palestinians have opened their minds and their hearts with such frankness', The New York Times
'Shehadeh writes beautifully, his language infused with a lyrical, melancholic sense of loss. An important record of a land marked by conflict that is changing every day', Sunday Telegraph
'Shehadeh is always engaging ... delivering what many activists neglect to mention: the odd, slightly absurd details that really touch people; things that appear off camera, away from news reports', Independent on Sunday
'Towards any proper understanding of history there are many small paths. I strongly suggest you walk with him', John Berger
'Palestinian Walksis a stoic account of a particular place, but one which has universal resonance. The judges felt it made landscape into the essence of politics, and political writing into an art', John Seaton, chair of the Orwell Prize committee, 2008
'Shehadeh describes howthe destruction of a beloved landscape mirrors the damage to Palestinian identity ... lyrical nature-writing with understated political passion', Guardian
'Readers would do well to reckon with the painful particulars of Shehadeh's account, which is at once gentle and angry, resolute and realistic', Nation
'This is a beautiful book and a sad one', Anthony Lewis
'Palestinian Walksprovides a rare historical insight into the tragic changes taking place in Palestine', Jimmy Carter