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Sayed Kashua, a Palestinian born and raised in Israel, has a lot to say about the importance of stories and the written word. His latest book to be translated into English is a collection of weekly columns that first appeared in Haaretz newspaper. They’ve been translated by Ralph Mandel into a collection called Native. Host Marcela Sulak reads from the final essay in the collection, in which Kashua contemplates his past as the family prepares to move from Israel to the US.

“Don’t come in,” my daughter shouted angrily when I knocked at her door.

I went in anyway. I sat down next to her on the bed and despite her back turned to me, I knew she was listening. “You hear?” I said before I repeated to her exactly the same sentence my father said to me when he left me at the entrance to the best school in the country twenty-five years ago. “Remember, whatever you do in life, for them you will always, but always, be an Arab. Do you understand?”

Kashua spent last year teaching in Chicago, and it’s possible that his move to the US will be permanent. Hear more about him in this previous episode of Israel in Translation.

Sayed Kashua, Native: Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life. Translated by Ralph Mandel. New York: Grove Press, 2016.

Further reading:
Let it Be Morning
Second Person Singular
Dancing Arabs

Dudi Levi – Mahar Ani Ozev
Mira Awad – Yousef (by Mahmoud Darwish)
Mira Awad – Olakatuna (by Mahmoud Darwish)
Amal Murkus – On This Earth (by Mahmoud Darwish)

Producer: Laragh Widdess
Technical producer: Alex Benish

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