Palestinian Walks : Notes on a Vanishing Landscape Paperback
Over two decades of turmoil and change in the Middle East, steered via the history-soaked landscape of Palestine.
This new edition includes a previously unpublished epigraph in the form of a walk. When Raja Shehadeh first started hill walking in Palestine, in the late 1970s, he was not aware that he was travelling through a vanishing landscape.
These hills would have seemed familiar to Christ, until the day concrete was poured over the flora and irreversible changes were brought about by those who claim a superior love of the land. Six walks span a period of twenty-six years, in the hills around Ramallah, in the Jerusalem wilderness and through the ravines by the Dead Sea.
Each walk takes place at a different stage of Palestinian history since 1982, the first in the empty pristine hills and the last amongst the settlements and the wall.
The reader senses the changing political atmosphere as well as the physical transformation of the landscape.
By recording how the land felt and looked before these calamities, Raja Shehadeh attempts to preserve, at least in words, the Palestinian natural treasures that many Palestinians will never know.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 240 pages, Illustrations, map
- Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 22/05/2008
- Category: Walking, hiking, trekking
- ISBN: 9781861978998
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by AAlibrarian
Raja Shehadeh takes the reader on the walks he took as a child and youn man through the Palestinian hills, describing the beauty of the landscape, natural history and politics & people. It is his using this mechanism that we learn of the restrictions placed on access to those walks by the taking and sequestering of land by the Israelis and come to understand the troubles of this beleagured people.
Review by michaelshade
A superb reflection by a Palestinian on the meanings his land holds for him, and the changes wrought on it by 60 years of Israeli occupation. He recounts a series of half a dozen different walks around his home town, Ramallah, with different walking companions, and tells how one of life's simple pleasures, taken for granted by most us, has become more and more difficult, almost impossible. Land is grabbed by settlers, roads drive across ancient rights of way, walls spring up, olive groves are uprooted, soldiers bar the way, he can no longer walk the paths his grandfather trod. He and his wife are even fired at on one walk, not as they first suspect by Israelis, but by Palestinians who can't - or won't - understand what they are doing. Walking? Why are you walking? All the issues raised by the Israel-Palestine conflict are discussed as he takes us through the walks, and all shades of Palestinian opinion get an airing as he argues the way forward with various friends and relatives. And through it all, there's an obstinate determination to keep on walking.