By Yousef M. Aljamal – Gaza
The Centre for Political and Development Studies (CPDS), in Gaza, held a lecture on Monday October 10 titled ‘In Gaza I Dare to Dream‘, by Rana Shubair, a Palestinian writer and educator, who teaches English language and translation at various Gaza institutions, to discuss her recently-published book. Dozens of students and activists attended the talk.
Shubair explained how she developed the writing of her book, saying, “Living under occupation and siege, I mostly wrote about life in Gaza. I, like others, have lived through all the hardships under Siege.”
The topics she addressed in her book include her first-hand narratives of life as a student, a wife, a mother, a Palestinian imprisoned in Gaza, the lack of recreational areas in Gaza, the education system and personal stories of Palestinian martyrs.
“I wrote about the common Gazan. I wrote about being a mother. It is a memoir style. It started from 2005 to 2016 and covered the three major Israeli attacks on Gaza,” said Shubair.
Shubair returned to Gaza during the first Palestinian Intifada after spending five years in the United States, “Most of the students were not at school (due to protests) when I returned to Gaza in 1990. I compared my life in the US with my life in Gaza. I wrote about my lost life.”
In 2006, she said, “I gave birth to triplets. I would stuff their ears with cotton to protect them from sonic booms.”
Shubair’s book also highlighted the issue of Palestinian prisoners. Commenting on this, she said, “I wrote about some 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who are seldom mentioned by the mainstream media.”
Having to take care of her children, Shubair was exposed to the experience of children in Gaza during Israel’s continuing offensives. “I wrote about the experience of children, my children, my nephews and nieces, my friends’ children,” she noted.
“My children came to me and asked me if they lived in Gaza or in Palestine. I had to explain to them how Palestine became like this and how it was before.”
At the end of the talk, Shubair highlighted the obstacles she faced while attempting to publish her book, “I felt lost. I contacted many publishers but got no response. I had to self-publish it. The book is available worldwide except in Gaza. I plan to print it in Gaza soon.”
-Yousef M. Aljamal is the Palestine Chronicle Correspondent in the Gaza Strip.