Drinking the Sea at Gaza
Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege
Author: Amira Hass; Translated by Maxine Nunn
In 1993, Amira Hass, a young Israeli reporter, drove to Gaza to cover a story-and stayed, the first journalist to live in the grim Palestinian enclave so feared and despised by most Israelis that, in the local idiom, "Go to Gaza" is another way to say "Go to hell." Now, in a work of calm power and painful clarity, Hass reflects on what she has seen in the Gaza Strips's gutted streets and destitute refugee camps.
Drinking the Sea at Gaza maps the zones of ordinary Palestinian life. From her friends, Hass learns the secrets of slipping across sealed borders and stealing through night streets emptied by curfews. She shares Gaza's early euphoria over the peace process and its subsequent despair as hope gives way to unrelenting hardship. But even as Hass charts the griefs and humiliations of the Palestinians, she offers a remarkable portrait of a people not brutalized but eloquent, spiritually resilient, bleakly funny, and morally courageous.
Full of testimonies and stories, facts and impressions, Drinking the Sea at Gaza makes an urgent claim on our humanity. Beautiful, haunting, and profound, it will stand with the great works of wartime reportage.
In The News
“Not only has Amira Hass done the reporting that makes this book a moving and eloquent advocate of Palestinian humanity, but she is also a blunt and beautiful writer” —Amy Wilentz, Newsday
“Shatters stereotypes ... Hass reveals the surprising contradictions of Palestinian society.” —Susie Linfield, Los Angeles Times
“Hass observes with something like despair, and writes with skill and passion.” —Graham Usher, The Economist