Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The Lady from Tel Aviv

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The Lady from Tel Aviv

Article excerpt

The Lady From Tel Aviv By Raba'I Al-Madhoun, Telegram Books, 2014, paperback, 254 pp. List: $12.95; MEB: $10.

Walid Dahman hasn't been home in 38 years. As a young student, he traveled from his native Gaza to Cairo to study, and eventually made his way to London. After Israel's 1967 occupation of Gaza, travel home became increasingly difficult. Since leaving, he has gotten married, had children, and become an author.

Finally, Walid decides to make the journey home. The Lady From Tel Aviv is an account of that return journey. Author Al-Madhoun delicately narrates Walid's story as he meets a young Israeli woman on the plane ride from London to Tel Aviv. Their complex conversation marks the beginning of his homecoming, a voyage that reveals the complexity of emotions so burdening Walid.

As he had anticipated, Walid's trip was anything but smooth. His constant paranoia is evident throughout, and he must brave checkpoints, interrogations and the shock of seeing Gaza so transformed over the 38 years he has been away. In one of the book's longest scenes, Walid confronts the entry point into Gaza, struggling to come to terms with the limitations of privilege being British grants him. …

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