Against the Loveless world by Susan Abulhawa

Very few books have a compelling energy about them. They can captivate you enough to sit up and take stock of your beliefs and perspectives. This wonderment of a book by the gifted Susan Abulhawa; is one such example. It’s a poignant parable on Palestine, it’s people and it’s decades long struggle for existence.

The story chronicles the life of the feisty and feminist Nahr from Kuwait through Jordan and eventually Palestine. From leading an ordinary, unassuming life obsessing over boys, to becoming a high profile escort, only later to become a Palestinian freedom fighter whom the Israelis label as terrorist and hence incarcerate her for sixteen years; Nahr’s trajectory is unconventional and invincible. The book is peppered with strong female leads. Special mention of the audacious and ebullient Iraqi woman, Um Buraq who challenges every patriarchal norm her way.

The book renders an unflinching and brutally honest take on the Palestinian war. It’s unapologetic on the loathing for Israel and America. The author portrays Palestinian women as strong, gallant and fiercely independent. Leading this women’s movement is Nahr who battles patriarchy in its most ugly and repugnant forms of dominance, ownership and rape. The book oscillates between the geographical freedom struggle and the struggle of a woman to owning her body.

Susan permeates the book with the rich, vibrant and endearing culture of Palestine and the Levant. Food, music and clothes are described in alluring details. The topography of Palestine looks resplendent through the words of the author. The book which is the recipient of the Palestine Book Awards 2020 and now nominated for Aspen Words, is a necessity. The world needs to know the truth. The world needs to know that abayas and hijabs can be equally formidable.


Author: theshinydiaries

Being authentic; one day at a time!

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