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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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19. “Dignity,” Zaki Darwish


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Chapter Nineteen



Although the room was very narrow, we, nineteen men, were all crowded inside it. After a while, we became friends; rough times are the most fertile ground for the growth of friendships and love. I could not find a trace of worry or anxiety on a single face. Who knows? Perhaps they managed to conquer all sorts of worry. Otherwise, how could they demonstrate this firm attitude? One man that amused us all was this ifrit Abbas. He told jokes one after the other and laughter came from every direction. They were terribly loud, enough to pierce the wall between us and the beautiful world outside.

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