Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire brings together sixteen essays and poems by twelve Palestinian writers. The book includes political essays, personal narratives, economic analysis, and poetry. The book is edited by American Friends Service Committee staff Jehad Abusalim, Jennifer Bing, and Mike Merryman-Lotze and published by Haymarket Books.
Gaza is home to two million people, and it continues to face suffocating conditions imposed by Israel. For sixteen years, Palestinians in Gaza have lived under a brutal blockade, isolated from the rest of Palestine and the world. This distinctive anthology imagines what the future of Gaza could be, while reaffirming the critical role of Gaza in Palestinian identity, history, and struggle for liberation. The New York Times describes it as a “searing collection anthologizes works by Palestinians from Gaza — some residents, some refugees — describing their lives under occupation and amid the ongoing struggle for freedom.”
The book is an urgent and powerful intervention into an important political moment and movement. In her review of Light in Gaza, historian, author, and activist Barbara Ransby writes, "Gaza is often referred to as an 'open-air prison,' because it is so hard for messages, images or bodies to get out, or for resources to get in. Light in Gaza breaks through the prison walls and gives us a unique opportunity to hear and learn from those living under Israeli occupation in Gaza. Their voices are filled with pain, loss, frustration, anger, but most of all, hope. This powerful and beautifully crafted collection is one that readers must engage with heads and hearts wide open."
AFSC is excited to host a second speaking tour featuring Yousef Aljamal, a contributor to the Light in Gaza anthology in the following U.S. cities in October.
Sunday, October 1: Portland, OR
Monday, October 2: Olympia, WA
Tuesday, October 3 - Tacoma, WA
Wednesday, October 4 & Thursday October 5: Seattle, WA
Friday, October 6: Bellingham, WA
Monday, October 9-11: San Diego, CA
Wednesday, October 11 - 13: Oakland and San Francisco bay area
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Yousef M. Aljamal is a Palestinian refugee from Al-Nusierat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. He has obtained an MA degree from the Department of International and Strategic Studies Department at the University of Malaya and a PhD from the Middle East Institute at Sakarya University in Turkey. Aljamal, besides his research interests in diaspora, security, and indigenous studies, has contributed to a number of books which highlight the Palestinian narrative. He translated two books on Palestinian prisoners entitled The Prisoners' Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag (2013), and Dreaming of Freedom: Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak (2016). He also co-edited the book A Shared Struggle Stories of Palestinian and Irish Hunger Strikers (2021). Aljamal has published a number of journal articles on topics that include Palestinians in the diaspora, travel restrictions imposed on Palestinians, and struggles for liberation. Over the years, he has spoken at various forums and platforms to highlight the plight of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation and apartheid.