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Stories from Palestine: Narratives of Resilience by Marda Dunsky

Stories from Palestine profiles Palestinians engaged in creative and productive pursuits in their everyday lives in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Their narratives amplify perspectives and experiences of Palestinians exercising their own constructive agency.

In Stories from Palestine: Narratives of Resilience, Marda Dunsky presents a vivid overview of contemporary Palestinian society in the venues envisioned for a future Palestinian state. Dunsky has interviewed women and men from cities, towns, villages, and refugee camps who are farmers, scientists, writers, cultural innovators, educators, and entrepreneurs. Using their own words, she illuminates their resourcefulness in navigating agriculture, education, and cultural pursuits in the West Bank; persisting in Jerusalem as a sizable minority in the city; and confronting the challenges and uncertainties of life in the Gaza Strip. Based on her in-depth personal interviews, the narratives weave in quantitative data and historical background from a range of primary and secondary sources that contextualize Palestinian life under occupation.

More than a collection of individual stories, Stories from Palestine presents a broad, crosscut view of the tremendous human potential of this particular society. Narratives that emphasize the human dignity of Palestinians pushing forward under extraordinary circumstances include those of an entrepreneur who markets the yields of Palestinian farmers determined to continue cultivating their land, even as the landscape is shrinking; a professor and medical doctor who aims to improve health in local Palestinian communities; and an award-winning primary school teacher who provides her pupils a safe and creative learning environment. In an era of conflict and divisiveness, Palestinian resilience is relatable to people around the world who seek to express themselves, to achieve, to excel, and to be free. Stories from Palestine creates a new space from which to consider Palestinians and peace.

The book will interest general readers who want to learn about contemporary Palestinian life in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip beyond oft-repeated themes of oppression and violence, as well as students and scholars of Israel-Palestine studies, peace studies, journalistic conflict-zone reporting, and narrative writing.