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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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25. “The Mortgaged Ring,” Riyadh Husain Mahmoud


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Chapter Twenty-Five

The Mortgaged Ring1


You must have been used to the tradition that stories often start with beautiful descriptions, like: “The air was soft,” “The evening pink” and “We met. …” My story, however, had a different beginning. It started on a black day when I was handcuffed and propelled by a police officer to the police station, where the prison was cold, the food was cold … and so were the faces.

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