Raja Shehadeh: The Quest for Peace
For many years, lawyer and writer Raja Shehadeh has shared his wisdom about life under occupation in the Palestinian West Bank. Each year he and his wife Penny travel from their home in Ramallah to spend the summer in Edinburgh, and Book Festival audiences have had the opportunity to learn first-hand about one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.
To walk with Shehadeh in the olive groves growing in the valleys outside Ramallah is to understand his deep connection to his country, its land and its traumatic history – and to appreciate just what a resolution to the conflict would mean for the daily life of ordinary Palestinians. For this event, we have commissioned Shehadeh to write about his own experiences and about some of the people he has met along the way who have been devoted to finding a solution. It forms the precursor to a book, published by Profile next year, in which Shehadeh explores the efforts made by his father after many Palestinians were evicted from their homes in 1948, during a period that Palestinians refer to as ‘Al Nakbar’ (‘The Catastrophe’).