When the Birds Stopped Singing: Life in Ramallah Under Siege

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Steerforth Press, Mar 12, 2013 - Political Science - 160 pages
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The Israeli army invaded Ramallah in March 2002. A tank stood at the end of Raja Shehadeh's road; Israeli soldiers patrolled from the roof toops. Four soldiers took over his brother's apartment and then used him as a human shield as they went through the building, while his wife tried to keep her composure for the sake of their frightened childred, ages four and six.
This is an account of what it is like to be under seige: the terror, the frustrations, the humiliations, and the rage. How do you pass your time when you are imprisoned in your own home? What do you do when you cannot cross the neighborhood to help your sick mother?
Shehadeh's recent memoir, Strangers in the House: Coming of Age in Occupied Palestine, was the first book by a Palestinian writer to chronicle a life of displacement on the West Bank from 1967 to the present. It received international acclaim and was a finalist for the 2002 Lionel Gelber Prize. When the Birds Stopped Singing is a book of the moment, a chronicle of life today as lived by ordinary Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza in the grip of the most stringent Israeli security measures in years. And yet it is also an enduring document, at once literary and of great political import, that should serve as a cautionary tale for today's and future generations.
 

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When the Birds Stopped Singing : Life in Ramallah Under Siege

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The city of Ramallah on the West Bank has long been an important center of Palestinian nationalism. Since the beginning of the most recent Palestinian uprising, the city has come under various curfews ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
12
Section 3
29
Section 4
35
Section 5
41
Section 6
46
Section 7
57
Section 8
60
Section 16
93
Section 17
99
Section 18
102
Section 19
107
Section 20
111
Section 21
114
Section 22
116
Section 23
122

Section 9
62
Section 10
64
Section 11
71
Section 12
72
Section 13
75
Section 14
78
Section 15
84
Section 24
124
Section 25
128
Section 26
129
Section 27
132
Section 28
140
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About the author (2013)

Raja Shehadeh is a Palestinian lawyer and writer who lives in Ramallah. He is a founder of Al-Haq, a pioneering, nonpartisan human rights organization, and the author of several books about international law, human rights, and the Middle East.

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