Ashour, Radwa. Granada. # 1 of a trilogy 2003. Syracuse University Press, USA

There is a rich body of literature in Arabic; English readers are deprived of much of it by our disinterest and our historic political antagonism both to Arabic culture and our debt to it. We rarely have access to modern Arabic fiction in translation, particularly by women, so it is an unusual treat to read two books by this contemporary Egyptian writer and academic. Her books are not dry or academic but bold novels with strong characters whose lives and actions are lovingly detailed with daily life meshed into unfolding history. This is the Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Radwa Ashour

Archer, Colin. Whose Priorities? A guide for campaigners on military and social spending 2007. International Peace Bureau. Geneva, Switzerland.

“Even a small share of the military expenditure of the rich would, if appropriately attribute, make a substantial difference to the struggle against poverty …” This report is the latest in an International Peace Bureau (IPB) series (see their website for information & ordering) that examines specific aspects of the obstacles and strategies on the road to peace making. It expands on the contents of War or Welfare? which IPB produced in 2005. All these publications provide useful information for activists who seek factual information Read more [...]

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Arab Group for the Protection of Nature. SIXTY ONE PORTRATS TO THE RYTHM OF HATIKIVA: Some of the Israeli Massacres in Palestine.

Illustrated by Marwa Al-Najjar. Introduction by Razan Zuayter. 2009. Published by the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature. www.apnature.org Amman, Jordan. Published in commemoration of the sixty one years since the Nakba, the catastrophe which was the violent expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians from their homeland, this book gives stark outlines of some of the massacres in cities and villages all over Palestine, from 1948 right up to the massive killings during 2009 in Gaza. These are incomplete notes, intended as reminders and as a call for Read more [...]

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Andreas, Joel. Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can’t Kick Militarism 2003, AK Press, USA

I am addicted to reading, but rarely do I read comics. I'm glad I read this comic book with a difference it says a lot more and says it better than many weighty tomes I wade through. Andreas is focussed on the real problem- addiction to militarism. This dogma not only occupies the minds of general and presidents in the USA, but it grips nearly all politicians everywhere and the minds of most people. We rarely question the idea that there are alternatives to war – other ways to settle conflicts – and most important to change the conditions Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Joel Andreas

Amiry, Suad. SHARON AND MY MOTHER-IN-LAW: Ramallah Diaries. Granta Books. 2005. London, UK

It is hard to imagine that there can be humour about and in a brutal war and occupation, but Amiry proves me wrong and shows again the amazing resilience of the Palestinian people. As someone else once said about her tragic life, “if I can´t laugh about it, I will cry all the time”. Maybe humour helps one through the bad times — certainly it helped Amiry cope with her somewhat senile mother—in—law who worries about potted begonias, the garbage and marmalade in the middle of an Israeli invasion. “The diaries, which span 1981-2004, Read more [...]

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Abunimah, Ali. ONE COUNTRY: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. 2006. Metropolitan Books. USA (revised edition to be published in 2010)

This proposal, by the founder of the Electronic Intifada, Electronic Iraq and Electronic Lebanon websites, is one of the most hopeful I have read. It deserves serious consideration by anyone concerned about this global hotspot – and about justice for the oppressed. A report of his 2010 speech in Victoria is also on bbcf.ca. Abunimah grew up with his parents´ memories and history. They were evicted from their homes by Israelis in 1947–8. ´My mother remembers the day she left Lifta and my grandfather calmed his daughters: “Why are you crying? Read more [...]

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Brutus, Dennis. Poetry & Protest: A Dennis Brutus Reader. Edited by Lee Sustar & Aisha Karim. 2006. Haymarket Books. USA

“The perfume of freedom has burned my mind…” When I finished reading this history of a remarkable and committed activist and the anthology of his sixty years of poetry, prose, and speeches, I regretted my own failure to talk with him four years ago. In a grassy field by the river in Porto Alegre, we were participating in the opening of the World Social Forum; I was carrying two of my handmade banners that many people wanted to photograph. A wispy gray haired man approached with a camera and asked me about the banners and chatted for a few Read more [...]

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Diebel, Linda. Betrayed: The Assassination of Digna Ochoa. 2005. HarperCollins. Canada.

“In Mexico, to defend human rights is to risk your life.” Digna Ochoa This is not a pretty book nor is it a quick read. It is a detailed account of the life and commitment of a young Mexican human rights lawyer who was murdered in her office in Mexico City in 2001 and of the ensuing investigation and cover up of her assassination. She defended human rights knowing the risk, she was kidnapped, beaten and raped, and finally at the age of 36, she died for her beliefs and her work. Ochoa was internationally known for her courage and dedication Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Linda Diebel