Watched a Google Hangout on Thursday at the Gilroy Library with contributors to Gaza Writes Back — a new book published by Just World Books.
There were participants from many different time zones which boggles the mind. 4:00 PM was a very convenient time for me, but that meant Nour was sitting up at 2:00 AM in Gaza to participate, and others in Malaysia were up at 8:00 PM (the next day I think). There were participants from London and many other time zones as well. Difficult for me to comprehend how technology can bring us all together.
For me, the best part of this hour with the contributors and editor of Gaza Writes Back was hearing their voices and watching them as they read passages from the book. I felt connected to them in a way that I never could have without this Google Hangout.
Refaat teaches at the Islamic University of Gaza. He explained why he invited his English students to write following Israel’s 23-day military operation against Gaza in Dec.’08 – Jan.’09 (Operation Cast Lead).
I think the title of the book is very clever. When I first heard it — Gaza Writes Back — I thought of two things.
(1) Writes Back sounds like Fights Back – this book represents the young people (contributors are university students in their 20s) taking up pens instead of swords to respond to the horrific onslaught unleashed by Israel which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead.
(2) There are many activists worldwide trying to bring attention in their countries to the injustices of the Israeli occupation, but Palestinians have their own voices, their own stories. This book is their “wake-up call” to the world, much more real and poignant than any international activist could share.
You can order the book here. I sent 3 copies (one each) to my U.S. Senators and Congresswoman. Maybe I should order a copy for President Obama.
If you missed the Google Hangout, you can catch it below. Just over an hour-long and well worth the time to hear these contributors in their own words.