rEview/ Smuggled Stories from the Holy Land

Carmen Taha Jarrah offers a glimpse into the reality of a region that has struggled to retain peace for generations

BY PAULA E. KIRMAN

SMUGGLED Stories from the Holy Land is the first book from Edmonton writer Carmen Taha Jarrah. Jarrah first went to Palestine with the Arab/Jewish Women's Peace Coalition, then later on her own on two occasions. The book is a chronicle of what she witnessed and experienced of life under the Occupation: poverty, despair, unending checkpoints, and a variety of human rights abuses.

Carmen Taha Jarrah's 'Smuggled Stories from the Holy Land.'

The stories were "smuggled" because Jarrah herself came under threat of having her work destroyed while travelling, and took precautions that her photos in particular returned to Canada with her. There is a section of photos in the middle of the book which are clear as her words.

Jarrah struggles on the pages with trying to comprehend the grim reality of life in Palestine, while presenting the beauty of the culture and land there. There are also fleeting glimmers of hope, even living in the shadow of the Israel separation wall. Reading Smuggled Stories is almost like taking a journey to Palestine vicariously through Jarrah.

With many first person stories from the people she spoke with, Jarrah's writing and her stories are deeply compelling. While the book is decidedly presented mostly from the Palestinian point of view, the experiences of the people with whom she encountered cannot be denied.

You can purchase Smuggled Stories HERE or Like the book on Facebook by clicking HERE!

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