Where the Line is Drawn
As a young boy, Raja Shehadeh was entranced by a forbidden Israeli postage stamp in his uncle's album, intrigued by tales of a green land beyond the border. Impossible then to know what Israel would come to mean to him, or to foresee the future occupation of his home in Palestine. Later, as a young lawyer, he worked to halt land seizures and towards peace and justice in the region, and made close friends with several young Israelis. But as life became increasingly unbearable under Occupation, and horizons shrank, it was impossible to escape politics or the past, and friendships and hopes were put to the test. Brave, intelligent and deeply controversial, in Where the Line is Drawn award-winning author Raja Shehadeh explores the devastating effect of Occupation on even the most intimate aspects of life. Looking back over decades of political turmoil, Shehadeh traces the impact on the fragile bonds of friendship across the Israel-Palestine border, and asks whether those considered bitter enemies can come together to forge a common future.
As the borders between Palestine and Israel have shifted, so has the experience of crossing between the two countries, peoples and languages
Brilliantly evokes the Palestinian tragedy by way of a complex friendship. This is a fiercely intelligent and honest account. -- Ian McEwan Shehadeh [...] is a great inquiring spirit with a tone that is vivid, ironic, melancholy and wise. -- Colm Toibin A courageous and timely meditation on the fragility of friendship in dark times, illuminating how affiliation and love[...]can have a profound political power. -- Madeleine Thien Written with fierce clarity and unusual compassion, this book touches the human heart of a political tragedy. -- Gillian Slovo The question of how and if friendships can survive across political divides is a resonant one - and I can think of no one better than Raja Shehadeh to treat it with the wisdom, toughness and humanity that it deserves. -- Kamila Shamsie In the dark agony of the Palestine-Israel conflict, Raja Shehadeh offers a rare gift: a lucid, honest, unsparing voice. His humanity and wisdom are invaluable. -- Claire Messud The wisdom and elegance of Raja Shehadeh's thinking and writing are more necessary than ever. This book...appeals to - and speaks of - an insistence on dignity, regardless of borders and of endless war. Raja Shehadeh is a buoy in a sea of bleakness. -- Rachel Kushner Praise for Palestinian Walks: 'Few Palestinians have opened their minds and their hearts with such frankness The New York Times Shehadeh writes beautifully, his language infused with a lyrical, melancholic sense of loss. An important record of a land marked by conflict that is changing every day Sunday Telegraph Shehadeh describes how the destruction of a beloved landscape mirrors the damage to Palestinian identity ... lyrical nature writing with understated political passion Guardian
Raja Shehadeh is Palestine's leading writer. He is also a lawyer and the founder of the pioneering Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq. Shehadeh is the author of several acclaimed books including Strangers in the House, Occupation Diaries and Language of War, Language of Peace and winner of the 2008 Orwell Prize for Palestinian Walks (all Profile). He lives in Ramallah in Palestine.