One Book, Many Communities – A book talk with Ibtisam Azem

IJV is teaming up with Librarians and Archivists with Palestine for the international reading campaign, One Book, Many Communities! This year’s featured book is “The Book of Disappearance” by Ibtisam Azem, translated from the original Arabic by Sinan Antoon. The Book of Disappearance imagines what would happen if Palestinians in the State of Israel suddenly disappeared without a trace.

Watch the full video of our event from June 22, 2020 here!

This event will be follow up with a group book discussion (on Zoom) on Monday, August 3rd at 6pm EDT. Click here to register for that event.

Set in modern-day Jaffa and the greater Tel Aviv area, the story follows Alaa, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, and his friend Ariel, a Jewish Israeli. After Alaa disappears, Ariel finds Alaa’s journals. Alaa’s memory of his late grandmother, a survivor of the Nakba, confronts Ariel’s liberal Zionist convictions. Even in his absence, Alaa’s family memories create a dialogue with Ariel as the crisis of the mass disappearance unfolds.

This project draws inspiration from the “one book, one town” idea, wherein people in local communities come together to read and discuss a common book. Librarians and Archivists with Palestine invites readers, librarians, and others to organize gatherings to discuss The Book of Disappearance by Ibtisam Azem. This campaign is designed to introduce readers to the richness of Palestinian literature, and create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination.