Join author and journalist Nathan Thrall, as he discusses his new book A Day in the Life of Abed Salama, an intimate story of one heartbreaking day in Palestine and a masterful, epic portrait of life on both sides of Israel’s separation wall.
A Day in the Life of Abed Salama tells the story of Milad Salama, a five-year-old excited for his school trip to a theme park on the outskirts of Jerusalem. But tragedy awaits: his bus is involved in a horrific accident. His father, Abed, rushes to the chaotic site, only to find Milad has already been taken away. Abed sets off on a journey to learn Milad’s fate, navigating a maze of physical, emotional, and bureaucratic obstacles he must face as a Palestinian. He is on the wrong side of the separation wall, holds the wrong ID to pass the military checkpoints, and has the wrong papers to enter the city of Jerusalem. Abed’s quest to find Milad is interwoven with the stories of a cast of Jewish and Palestinian characters whose lives and histories unexpectedly converge.
Immersive and gripping, A Day in the Life of Abed Salama is an indelibly human portrait of the struggle over Israel/Palestine that offers a new understanding of the history and reality of one of the most contested places on earth.
Nathan Thrall will be joined in conversation by Mark Danner, with special guest Abed Salama, traveling to San Francisco from the West Bank.
Nathan Thrall is the author of The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine. His writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, Guardian, New York Review of Books, and The New York Times Magazine and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He spent a decade at the International Crisis Group, where he was Director of the Arab-Israeli Project, and has taught at Bard College. Originally from California, he lives in Jerusalem.
Abed Salama is a Palestinian living under Israeli rule in the enclave of Anata in greater Jerusalem. Salama’s story of losing his five-year-old son Milad in a harrowing school bus accident provides the framework for Nathan Thrall’s depiction of Israel/Palestine. Salama is traveling to the U.S. to join Thrall in conversation about the book.
Mark Danner has written widely on foreign affairs and politics for more than three decades. A longtime staff writer for The New Yorker and a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, Danner has covered war and political conflict in Central America, Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Danner holds the Class of 1961 Distinguished Chair in Undergraduate Education at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches politics and foreign policy at the Graduate School of Journalism and literature and film in the Department of English.
Our community partner for this program is Books Inc.
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