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What to read after Alia Yunis’s story of a girl dealing with her sister’s unexpected death.

By **Alia Yunis**

yunis_author-100.jpg“Palestine. It always comes back to Palestine in our family,” laments Alia Yunis’s protagonist in “Girls on Ice,” featured in the June 1st issue of Guernica. The past is not only the enemy in Yunis’s story, but also serves as a microcosm for the endless bloodshed in the Middle East. Below, Yunis lists her reading recommendations that shaped her as an artist and a person.

Occupation 101 directed by Sufyan Omeish:

Anytime anyone says to me that there is no solving the Palestinian problem because “the Jews and Arabs have hated it each other for centuries” or “I just don’t get the Palestinian thing” I send them this documentary. It is the most concise, factual account of Palestine and has some incredible rare footage. In book format, it would be called Palestine for Dummies.

Zaghareed: Music From the Palestinian Holy Land by El Funoun:

This CD takes you through the emotionally intoxicating music of a village wedding, with few a classic Arab wedding trills thrown in.

On Entering the Sea by Nizar Qabbani:

When I read his poems, I finally understood the power of poems in love and revolution. Start here, and then go on to the more chilling poems of the heartbreaking Mahmoud Darwish.

Copyright 2011 Alia Yunis


  Diana Abu-Jaber: The Oracle: “I was like the oracle of fatness all of a sudden.” More
  Laila Halaby: The Bastard of Salinas: “Better to believe that you come from two happy parents.” More
  Youmna Chlala: Secret Boyfriend: The year we went to the Camps, my sister Leila was eighteen years old and had just begun her secret affair with Sammy. More
  Patricia Sarrafian Ward: East Beirut, 1978: “Self,” she queried, “should we just kill him and be done?” She smoked, exhaling through her nose like a dragon. More

For more on this topic and others at GUERNICA, click HERE .


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