Magazine article New Internationalist

Vanished

Magazine article New Internationalist

Vanished

Article excerpt

Vanished by Ahmed Masoud (Rimal Publications, ISBN 9789963715138)

Subtitled 'The Mysterious Disappearance of Mustafa Ouda', Ahmed Masoud's fine novel is a highly charged tale of loss and betrayal; of bad choices made in worse circumstances. Set in Gaza and spanning three decades from the 1980s to the present day, the book tells of Omar Ouda's search for his father, Mustafa, who disappeared one night from the family home. Was he abducted by the occupying Israeli forces? Was he caught up in the internecine struggles between rival Palestinian groups? Or were there family reasons, unfathomable to the young Omar, for his father's abrupt departure? The time frame of the novel is important, covering as it does the first and second Palestinian Intifadas and the Oslo Peace Accords. Omar's quest, abetted by his faithful friend Ahmed, brings him to the attention of the Israeli military and he is forced to choose between his family and his community, making decisions no young boy should have to face. …

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