Human Rights Program and Middle Eastern Studies Program Present
Nathan Thrall and Abed Salama, Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 AuditoriumWe are very happy to welcome Nathan Thrall to Bard for a conversation between him and Abed Salama, the protagonist of Thrall's book A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy (Metropolitan Books). This event is sponsored by the Human Rights and Middle Eastern Studies Programs. You can read and listen to an excerpt from the book here.
5:15 pm – 6:45 pm EDT/GMT-4
5:15 pm – 6:45 pm EDT/GMT-4
In his book, the struggle over Israel-Palestine is rendered at the human scale through the terrible story of a school bus accident that killed Abed’s five-year-old son Milad. Placing the personal narrative in the context of structural forces, A Day in the Life of Abed Salama elucidates the daily injustices faced by the roughly 3.2 million Palestinians living in the West Bank. Richly reported and deeply researched, the book cuts through the abstractions of 'the conflict' and 'the occupation' with a visceral and bracing account of an apparently exceptional event that reveals the painful realities of everyday life for Palestinians.
We have been planning this event for months, but it now takes on special relevance given the unfolding events in the Gaza Strip. As a recent review in the Guardian put it, "it feels hard to recommend reading material against such a backdrop, but a book such as A Day in the Life of Abed Salama brims over with just the sort of compassion and understanding that is needed at a time like this. ... Thrall looks at the Israel/Palestine conflict with unflinching clarity and quiet anger, but above all, with nuance. At a time when facts have become weapons in this seemingly endless conflict, this is a book that speaks with deep and authentic truth of ordinary lives trapped in the jaws of history."
Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
Nathan Thrall is the author of The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine (Metropolitan, 2017), and has written extensively on the region in the New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, and the New York Review of Books. He spent a decade at the International Crisis Group, where he was director of the Arab-Israeli Project. 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 Thrall’s depiction of Israel/Palestine.
For more information, call 845-758-6822, or e-mail [email protected].
Time: 5:15 pm – 6:45 pm EDT/GMT-4
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium