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Gaza Weddings

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Twin sisters Randa and Lamis live under the brutal occupation of the Gaza Strip. As neighbors, friends, and strangers are killed, one after another, their identities are blurred by death that strikes so randomly and without warning. Yet just as this terrible cycle continues, so too does the cycle of life. Randa, Lamis, and their friend Amna seek to affirm life, not just su ...more
Published October 12th 2017 by American University in Cairo Press
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Khulud Khamis
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gaza strip, where people's dreams are as small as the skies above them, because they are not allowed to have big dreams.
Gaza Weddings is narrated in short chapters alternately by two women, Randa and Amna. It's a story of love, hopes, small dreams, but mainly of death. The men in this short novel are present through their absence.
Aziz, the young gravedigger, who keeps making sure there are fresh graves dug for martyrs, is a marginal character in this novel, but his story just broke my heart.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A fascinating look at life under occupation, and hope despite the odds, that could really benefit from a better translation.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
"... you ask me why I'm crying? If I don't cry now, when will I cry? Why isn't everybody in Gaza crying their eyes out right now? Why are we supposed to trill with joy all the time? We're expected to do that because our kids are martyrs, and that's an honor. But they're our kids. Every day, every hour, every minute I expect somebody to knock on my door and bring me news I don't want to hear. We worry and we worry and we worry. And in the end I'm expected to trill like somebody who's got somethin ...more
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
My favorite books about the Palestinian struggle in general and Gaza in particular, are the ones that represent a daily life perspective. I found what I was looking for in this novel.
There's a lot to recommend this book: unreliable narrator, a translation that feels not just fluent but intimate and conversational, and a great sense of place.

The book centers around a set of identical twins, Randa and Lamis. Not even their mother can tell them apart...the only one who reliably can do that is the young man in love with Lamis. The story is atmospheric with women's lives suspended by the occupation. It was the first time I imagined lives on that scale; an entire culture without a
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book had a promising start... interesting and intriguing characters with fascinating backgrounds. The book was gripping at times and had some interesting ideas however, I found the monologues really frustrating, the switch in narratives also annoyed me a little and the story was a little aimless.

I applaud any writer who humanises the story of Palestinians and the raw details and narratives shared through this story, however fictional, are an important part of reminding the world that these
Sonia Francis
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
“ Our dreams have never gotten any smaller because they were so small from the start.
They were born small and they have stayed that way”. This quote sums up the lives of the Palestinians under the occupiers. If you want an insight as to what a Palestinian daily life is like, read this 155 pages powerful novel. Short lives, lives of tears, living in fear,
No sleep due to bombshells and gunfire’s.
Heart wrenching...It left me very sad.
Noha Alaa
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved it, It’s not really a novel with sequence of events leading to an ending but rather shots of certain situations.

Language is simple enough and yet so powerful, perfectly grouping different scenes together to give us a glimpse of people souls and their wide array of emotions (including sadness, hopefulness, solidarity, longing and anxiety, all mixed together)
Zainub Reads
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
A very difficult book to read as well as review because I very often felt that the beauty and eloquence of the writing was being lost in translation.
I do feel if I could read and understand the book in Arabic probably this would be a 5 star book.
Also, the deaths and destruction the people of Gaza face on a daily basis is horrifying.
As a reader, it is easy to imagine it as fiction but what is truly heartbreaking is that these devastating circumstances are real life for people who cannot escape t
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ok story, loads of confusion, and the translation could’ve been better
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting depiction of daily life in a circumstance that is far from my personal experience.
Iqra S. Cheema
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
The writer has wonderfully played with intriguing characters and their inseparable identities. But a lot is lost in translation. Translator's choice in language is rather tedious. ...more
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Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A slice of current daily life in Gaza. Sad but hopeful story. Sometimes difficult to follow the flow of time. I both read this both in Arabic and English translation. The translation was good.
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Ibrahim Nasrallah is a Palestinian poet, novelist, professor, painter and photographer.
He was born in the Wihdat Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan.
He studied in UNRWA schools in the camp and got his teaching degree from a training college in the camp. He taught in Saudi Arabia for 2 years and worked as a journalist between 1978 and 1996. Nasrallah then returned to Jordan and worked at Dostur, Afa

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