Tag Archives: Palestine

מקהלת ראנה – חד גדיא | جوقة رانة – حد جاديا | Rana Choir – Chad Gadya

“The newly independent all-female Rana Choir of Jaffa, a rare example of a successful coexistence project, sings in Arabic and Hebrew, as well as in Ladino and Yiddish” (By Judy Maltz, from Haaretz, April 10th 2016)


… a strong and beautiful voice for the Palestinians


“Raise your Keffiyeh Raise it
Sing the Ataba and Mijana and enjoy it

Shake your shoulders tenderly
Jafra, Ataba and Diheya

And let guns contribute and make it more fun [interesting double meaning, the song so far has been describing a wedding where people are singing the Ataba and Mijana and doing dabka, traditionally those were always accompanied by shooting guns in the air]

Raise the flag in Ramallah and Mountains of fire [Nablus’s nick name]
your proud head band is a symbol of grit and determination [Keffiyeh as a head dress was traditionally associated with head bands 3qal]
The first bullet tells the story of the journey
When the time comes, we make what’s up go down [rearranging an old Palestinian proverb]

Raise your Keffiyeh Raise it
Sing the Ataba and Mijana and enjoy it

We grew figs and olives in the orchard
We brought the wheat seeds and the lemon trees

When you call my country .. we will be ready
Lighting the victory paths in the battle day

Raise your Keffiyeh Raise it
Sing the Ataba and Mijana and enjoy it.”

More about Mohamed Assaf at:



Olof Palmes 2015 Award


2015 – Gideon Levy and Mitri Raheb


“The 2015 Olof Palme Prize is awarded to the Palestinian pastor Mitri Raheb, and the Israeli journalist Gideon Levy , for their courageous and indefatigable fight against occupation and violence, and for a future Middle East characterized by peaceful coexistence and equality for all. By their work they both give a ray of hope to a conflict that has plagued and continues to plague millions of people and to endanger world peace.As preacher and pastor in the Lutheran church, Mitri Raheb sends a clear message to the young generation of Palestinians: ”We want you to live, not die, for Palestine.” In a Bethlehem confined on three sides by the walls of the occupying Israeli power, and with Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture that he founded and his innovative artistic education in film, art, and drama, Raheb has made it possible for young people to investigate their Palestinian identity, to nurture beauty, and to invest in a culture of life as tools for a creative resistance against suffocating confinement and nation building.Gideon Levy is working for peace and reconciliation by means of a passionate search for truth and a fearless faith in the victory of reason in a region infested by prejudice and violence, propaganda and disinformation. With parents who were forced to emigrate from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, and as a true patriot, he has made reconciliation with the Palestinian people the mission of his life.”http://www.palmefonden.se/2015-gideon-levy-and-mitri-raheb/

My reading in Sao Paulo …

'Judas', by Amos Oz - Portuguese edition by Companhia Das Letras - 2014

‘Judas’, by Amos Oz – Portuguese edition by Companhia Das Letras – 2014 (As far as I know, no English translation available yet} – Sao Paulo, October 2015.


From the website of HKW (Haus der Kulturen der Welt) –



Amos Oz | Mirjam Pressler

2015 award winners

Amos Oz: Judas
Translated from the Hebrew by Mirjam Pressler | Habesora al pi Jehuda
Suhrkamp Verlag 2015 | Keter, Jerusalem 2014

“In his novel, Amos Oz is masterfully able to convey the big issues and conflicts of religious and contemporary history in the Middle East. He interlaces ancient times with the present, contrasting the conflict between Judaism and Christianity with modern Jewish-Palestinian reality. With his three characters – naïve, indecisive Shmuel Asch, the aged cynic Gershom Wald and his widowed daughter-in-law Athaliah Abrabanel – the author confidently reflects his knowledge of political history, thus creating an unconventional piece of world literature. The novel ‘Judas’ newly poses the question of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity based on the biblical Judas. He links the issue of betrayal with the actual political events during the founding phase of the State of Israel and in the ongoing Middle East conflict. The book’s secret is the way it portrays the moods among the conflicting parties, mirrored in the conversations of the three protagonists. In her German translation, Mirjam Pressler is able to convey a fine nuance of the atmosphere that permeates and carries this intelligent and multi-layered work.” (The jury on the 2015 award winners)


The life of the young Shmuel Asch changes radically in the winter of 1959. His girlfriend leaves him, his parents declare bankruptcy and he has to break off his studies. He finds shelter and work in an old house in Jerusalem as a companion for the rhetorically skilful and peculiar Gershom Wald. There he meets the beautiful and unapproachable Athaliah Abrabanel, daughter of a deceased leader of the Zionist movement. The novel’s three protagonists live withdrawn lives on the edge of the city. But desire and curiosity are transformed into desperate infatuation, breaking loose a storm inside the shy and sensitive Shmuel and he again begins to work on his graduation thesis on “Jesus from the Perspective of the Jews,” becomes lost in the mysterious pull exerted on him by Judas Iscariot, the incarnation of treachery and baseness, and at night talks with Gershom Wald about the ideals of Zionism, Jewish-Arab conflicts, in short, about everything under the sun. Gradually he decrypts the secrets of the inhabitants of the lonely house, their involvement and the human tragedy before and after the establishment of Israel in the year 1948.

Amos Oz | © Jerry Bauer/Suhrkamp VerlagAmos Oz | © Jerry Bauer/Suhrkamp Verlag

About the author

Amos Oz was born in 1939 as Amos Klausner in Jerusalem, where he spent his childhood. In 1954 he joined the Chulda kibbutz and adopted the name Oz. He studied literature and philosophy at Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1960 until 1963, returning to the kibbutz after completing his Bachelor’s degree. He is a co-founder and outstanding representative of the peace movement Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), founded in 1977. Until 2005 he taught Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba. He has received many prizes and awards for his works, which have been translated into 37 languages.

Recent publications in German translation:
Unter Freunden, translated from the Hebrew by Mirjam Pressler; Suhrkamp Verlag 2013 (Ben haverim; Keter, Jerusalem 2012)
Amos Oz & Fania Oz-Salzberger: Juden und Worte, translated from the English by Eva Maria Thimme; Jüdischer Verlag 2013 (Jews and Words; Yale University Press, New Haven 2012)
Geschichten aus Tel Ilan, translated from the Hebrew by Mirjam Pressler; Suhrkamp Verlag 2009 (Tmunot me-chajej ha-kfar; Keter, Jerusalem 2009)

Mirjam Pressler | © Uten Karen Seggelke/Belz & GelbergMirjam Pressler | © Uten Karen Seggelke/Belz & Gelberg

About the translator

Mirjam Pressler, born in Darmstadt in 1940, is an author and translator from the Hebrew, English and Dutch. Her more than 30 books for children and young people as well as her translations have received many awards including the German Children’s Literature Award, the Carl Zuckmayer Medal for Merits in the German Language and the Buber Rosenzweig Medal. She has translated works by Aharon Appelfeld, David Grossmann, Zeruya Shalev, John Steinbeck and other writers. For her translation ofJudas she received the 2015 Prize from the Leipzig Book Fair in the translation category.

Recent translations:
Lizzie Doron: Eine unmögliche Freundschaft, translated from the Hebrew; Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 2015 (not yet published in Hebrew)
Mira Magén: Wodka und Brot, translated from the Hebrew; Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 2015 (Vodka ve Lechem, Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir, Or Jehuda 2012)
Aharon Appelfeld: Auf der Lichtung, translated from the Hebrew; Rowohlt Berlin Verlag 2014 (ʿAd hod ha-tsaʿar Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir, Or Jehuda 2012)
Hila Blum: Der Besuch, translated from the Hebrew; Berlin Verlag 2014 (Ha-bikur; Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir, Or Jehuda 2011)
Amoz Oz: Unter Freunden, translated from the Hebrew; Suhrkamp Verlag 2013 (Ben haverim; Keter, Jerusalem 2012)
Theo Coster: In einer Klasse mit Anne Frank, translated from the Dutch; Herbig Verlagsbuchhandlung 2011 (Klasgenoten van Anne Frank; Uitgeverij Carrera, Amsterdam 2009)

Ein Buch für Hanna; Beltz & Gelberg 2011

Gideon Levy, and Roger Waters.

Roger Waters, the bright side of Israel’s moon –http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.654613

“Two Suns In The Sunset” – Pink Floyd Lyrics by Roger Waters

in my rear view mirror the sun is going down
sinking behind bridges in the road
and i think of all the good things
that we have left undone
and i suffer premonitions
confirm suspicions
of the holocaust to come
the rusty wire that holds the cork
that keeps the anger in
gives way
and suddenly it’s day again
the sun is in the east
even though the day is done
two suns in the sunset
could be the human race is run
like the moment when your brakes lock
and you slide toward the big truck
and stretch the frozen moments with your fear
and you’ll never hear their voices
and you’ll never see their faces
you have no recourse to the law anymore
and as the windshield melts
my tears evaporate
leaving only charcoal to defend
finally i understand
the feelings of the few
ashes and diamonds
foe and friend
we were all equal in the end

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra



“The Divan is not a love story, and it is not a peace story. It has very flatteringly been described as a project for peace. It isn’t. It’s not going to bring peace, whether you play well or not so well. The Divan was conceived as a project against ignorance. A project against the fact that it is absolutely essential for people to get to know the other, to understand what the other thinks and feels, without necessarily agreeing with it. I’m not trying to convert the Arab members of the Divan to the Israeli point of view, and [I’m] not trying to convince the Israelis to the Arab point of view. But I want to – and unfortunately I am alone in this now that Edward died a few years ago – …create a platform where the two sides can disagree and not resort to knives.”

Daniel Barenboim