Mourid Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah (translated by the multitalented Ahdad Soueif, and with a foreword by the late Edward Said) is out in paperback in Britain. The Guardian has a review by Avi Schlaim.
The literature on the Palestine question is usually so wrapped up in partisanship and polemics as to obscure, or at least to relegate to a secondary plane, the human and emotional side of the problem. It is therefore particularly pleasing to come across a writer who dwells not on politics but on the less familiar aspects of the Palestinian predicament. Mourid Barghouti is a prominent Palestinian poet who writes with great sensitivity and insight about his own experience of exile. But while writing in an autobiographical vein, he throws a great deal of light on the condition of his people.