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Short Fiction as a Mirror of Palestinian Life in Israel, 1944–1967

Critique and Anthology


Jamal Assadi and Saif Abu Saleh

This volume seeks to document the development of the Palestinian short story between 1944 and 1967. This particularly significant phase that carried the seeds, from which the short story grew, was greatly influenced by the last years of the British mandate over Palestine in 1944, the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and the subsequent changes that impacted Palestinian society in this country until the Arabs’ defeat in the Six Day War, 1967.

Within the fold of this volume, the reader will find two parts: the first is a general account of the development of the genre of short fiction and the different approaches that characterized it along with a discussion of the language and an examination of the content. The second is an anthology of twenty-five stories published between 1944 and 1967 by Al-Ittiḥād, an Israeli Arabic-language daily newspaper.

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13. “We Are from the Dear Land,” Mohammad Khass


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Chapter Thirteen

We Are from the Dear Land1


There was nothing new about Jerusalem with the exception of the fact that many Koffiyyas, headbands and country costumes appeared in its alleys that night, and that some young people in labor uniforms handed out brochures requesting the public to support the struggle of the shoe factory workers who had gone on strike. There were also some “guests” who stopped pedestrians to inquire about a cheap hotel to spend the night, and who asked about a medium-priced Asian restaurant to eat their dinner. Some people walked aimlessly about, heading towards the gate, while others found shelter in the various monasteries in the Old City.

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