Tuesday, September 10, 2013


These Trees Have Been Murdered

Adrian Tahourdin, "Death of trees. Eight prizewinning translations," The Times Literary Supplement (February 1, 2013):
The poet Mourid Barghouti's I Saw Ramallah (2004) was an acclaimed account of his return to his Palestinian home for the first time in thirty years. He has followed it with I Was Born There, I Was Born Here. We read of how he introduces his Cairo-born son Tamim to his Palestinian family, of coffee-drinking rituals and difficult taxi journeys across the Occupied Territories. He discusses the importance of olives to Palestinians: "Everywhere you look, huge olive trees, uprooted and thrown over under the open sky. I think: these trees have been murdered, and this plain is their open collective grave....The olive in Palestine is not just agricultural property. It is people’s dignity...". The translation by the prolific Humphrey Davies (216pp. Bloomsbury. £14.99. 978 1 4088 1558 8) is commended.
See Mourid Barghouti, I Was Born There, I Was Born Here, 1st U.S. ed (New York: Walker & Co., 2012), pp. 10-12.

Hat tip: Ian Jackson.


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