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  • Leaving Palestine: 'Give 'em something to talk about'

    A fleeting moment of romance in grueling border terminal that devours you alive -- and yet you don't die. A day at the Allenby border crossing. (Read part one of this series here.) By Bassam Almohor “Saqallah ala ayyam zaman (I long for the old times) when we used to travel all over el blad (the country),” my father uttered with tears in his eyes; he longed for the old days. Are they really that old? Until the late eighties, I was able to go to Gaza in a single bus ride, no transfers, straight from Jenin to Gaza. And…

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  • A homage to David Grossman, to mark his new novel

    I'd like to step away from the relentless discussion of Grossman's activism and to explain why he hold such a tremendous place for me and many more as an author - and what his last novel to appear in English tells of this country's future. David Grossman has a new book coming out today in Israel; it's Hebrew title translates as "Falling out of Time." Grossman is a politically contentious figure; to many Israelis, he is too political, while to many activists, he is not political enough. He's been accused equally of being subversive and of serving the hegemony and…

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  • The passing valentine

    He comes to be with her once a year, stays for barely three months, then vanishes. It's been like that since who knows when. How can a love story last this way? Somehow it does. How can she take it? Somehow she does. She gladly accepts the gifts he brings: A green dress, always a green dress, and bouquets of flowers. It must be the flowers that make her forgive and embrace him so strongly. These are no carnations from the corner florist. He brings her wild flowers, rare flowers, a different one each day: first a slender Urginea Maritima,…

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