A Memoir


A poet serving a life sentence weaves together autobiography and modern history to convey the emotional realities of prison and the struggle of the Palestinian people.

The Tale of a Wall is a history book, an autobiography, a documentary, a love story, and a cry for justice written in flowing prose and modern poetry. It is written in two parts: the first is a rapid documentation of the early life of the author’s father, “cleansed” from his village and settled in what has become the Aida refugee camp, where he ultimately established a large family. The second part documents how, upon becoming a teenager in the time of the first Intifada, the author was captured, tortured, and forced to confess, after which he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. In his voyage through the many prisons of the occupation, he developed an existential strategy of resistance, establishing a center of gravity to be attracted to and converse with at the end of each day: the “Wall,” the prison wall. Through these philosophical dialogues he documents the political events that led to the fracturing of Palestinian society and its resistance, and the depressing effect of that on the incarcerated.

Composed in a style that evokes the existential angst of Sartre combined with the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, The Tale of a Wall brings this powerful Palestinian voice to English readers for the first time.

Source: Other Press