Walid Shurafa rounds off series on Palestinian struggle with launch of third novel
Walid Shurafa, a professor of media at Birzeit University, recently launched the novel “Laytani Kunt A’ma” (I Wish I Were Blind), completing his trilogy of stories that focus on the Palestinian struggle for independence, statehood, and right of return.
The novel follows the themes set in Shurafa’s previous books titled “Coming from the Resurrection” and “Heir of the Tombstone,” the latter shortlisted for the 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. They describe the Palestinian struggle for freedom through the eyes of two characters named Ali, a photographer who fought in the 1982 siege of Beirut, and Yassir, who gave up his dream of earning a Ph.D. in English literature and art history to fight in the 2002 battle of Jenin.
Through the two men’s triumphs and tribulations, the novel details the setbacks that beset the Palestinian struggle. The narrative switches between realism and fantasy, at times blending them, to create a setting that extends beyond the walls of the hospital surgery where the two men meet to the streets of Beirut, Jenin, and Nablus.
Ahmad Abu Touq − director of Dar Al-Ahlia for Publishing and Distribution, Amman, Jordan, the publishing house of the novel − gave a short speech in which he emphasized the importance of supporting Arab authors and writers. He highlighted the role novels and short stories play in spreading awareness of causes and movements of (and in) the Arab world and beyond.