When the Birds Stopped Singing: Life in Ramallah Under Siege

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Steerforth Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 152 pages
4 Reviews
The Israeli army invaded Ramallah in March 2002. A tank stood at the end of Raja Shehadeh's road; Israeli soldiers patrolled from the roof toops. Four soldiers took over his brother's apartment and then used him as a human shield as they went through the building, while his wife tried to keep her composure for the sake of their frightened childred, ages four and six.
This is an account of what it is like to be under seige: the terror, the frustrations, the humiliations, and the rage. How do you pass your time when you are imprisoned in your own home? What do you do when you cannot cross the neighborhood to help your sick mother?
Shehadeh's recent memoir, Strangers in the House: Coming of Age in Occupied Palestine, was the first book by a Palestinian writer to chronicle a life of displacement on the West Bank from 1967 to the present. It received international acclaim and was a finalist for the 2002 Lionel Gelber Prize. When the Birds Stopped Singing is a book of the moment, a chronicle of life today as lived by ordinary Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza in the grip of the most stringent Israeli security measures in years. And yet it is also an enduring document, at once literary and of great political import, that should serve as a cautionary tale for today's and future generations.

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Review: When the Birds Stopped Singing: Life in Ramallah Under Siege

User Review  - Goodreads

A great look into the horrible destruction and situation during the 2002 Israeli invasion. It is the struggle to stay hopeful in a hopeless situation and reminds me of the struggle of those in prison ... Read full review

Review: When the Birds Stopped Singing: Life in Ramallah Under Siege

User Review  - Goodreads

Raja Shehadeh shares his diary written during the 2002 Israeli reoccupation of Ramallah. Through his eyes we see and feel the horror, humiliation, anger, despair of what it is like to live under siege. The author sees the contributions of both Israelis and Palestinians to this ongoing tragedy. Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Raja Shehadeh is a Palestinian lawyer and writer who lives in Ramallah. He is a founder of Al-Haq, a pioneering, nonpartisan human rights organization, and the author of several books about international law, human rights, and the Middle East.

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