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East Jerusalem Noir

Edited by:

In East Jerusalem Noir—published simultaneously with West Jerusalem Noir—the Akashic Noir Series turns its gaze to one of the world’s most fascinating locales, in this volume from the perspective of Palestinian writers; translated from Arabic

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$17.95 $13.46

What people are saying…

“Israelis rarely venture into East Jerusalem, its neighborhoods as foreign as those of a different country. Israeli readers may be uncomfortable with the short stories of East Jerusalem Noir, for they are tales of house demolitions, separation walls, checkpoints, and destroyed villages. But they are also tales of heavenly faiths that call out to residents to fill the emptiness of their lives with prayer . . . The stories tell of the unfulfilled hopes and dreams of East Jerusalem residents, their lives vastly different from those living in the western half of the city.” —Times of Israel

“These two var­ied col­lec­tions of sto­ries, pub­lished simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, are set in a kalei­do­scop­ic Jerusalem that is impos­si­ble to describe with a sin­gle voice. Both vol­umes attempt to ren­der one of the world’s old­est, blood­i­est, holi­est, and most divid­ed cities . . . The sto­ries in West Jerusalem Noir vary wide­ly in scope . . . unlike the East edi­tion, some of the sto­ries in West use Israel’s cap­i­tal and the region’s strife as a back­drop rather than a fore­ground . . . It might be said that any sto­ry set in a city so steeped in vio­lent his­to­ry, so scrawled with reli­gious myth, and so flood­lit by divi­sive order is a sto­ry about search­ing, about dark­ness, and about moral qualms — is, in oth­er words, a noir.” —Jewish Book Council, on East Jerusalem Noir and West Jerusalem Noir

“Editor Burbara presents 13 wrenching tales of life in a city ‘established 7,000 years ago’ that ‘has been attacked 52 times, occupied 44 times, besieged 23 times, and destroyed twice’ . . . The burden of grief carried by those who live in East Jerusalem is poignant and palpable. Such a sharp focus on the misery of the occupation creates a certain constriction in the range of storylines. But Burbara’s contributors are clearly willing to sacrifice the chance to showcase the color and variety of the ancient city in order to tell a harrowing tale of its current distress. Heartfelt and heart-wrenching.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The East Jerusalem stories, edited by Burbara, are tales of everyday oppression, with impersonal government violence thrown in the mix, and the corrosive effects on victims’ psyches . . . VERDICT Rather than collections of crime noir, these are deep dives into the anguished psyche of a grievously divided city.” —Library Journal

“East Jerusalem’s thorny politics run through each of the 13 stories comprising this sturdy entry in Akashic’s long-running regional noir series, which is being published simultaneously with West Jerusalem Noir . . . Written with passion and empathy, the volume’s strength lies in giving voice to the varied experiences of Palestinians who live, work, and write in one of the world’s most complicated cities. It’s a fascinating glimpse of life under occupation.” —Publishers Weekly


From the editor’s introduction: “When you move through the streets of Jerusalem today, you will notice that history surrounds you from all sides. You hear Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin from the Dome of the Rock; you hear the bells of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the Christians pray, accompanied by the voices of the Jewish worshippers at the Wailing Wall. You are filled with awe and stand helpless to do anything except feel both joy and sadness at the same time. Your feelings mingle, your thoughts get confused, and you peer at the sky waiting for God’s mercy and relief . . . The stories here are varied, and I did not interfere with the writers’ content. I asked them to portray the city of Jerusalem as they live it, as they feel it, as they appreciate it, as they fear it, as they want it to be, and as they imagine it in the past, the present, and the future . . . And now we put the black box in your hands! Kindly open it to reveal the secrets of Jerusalem and its people, who wake up to the sound of a forgotten rooster from a previous era to declare the beginning of a new dawn, so that life will not stop recording its new diary entries.”

Featuring brand-new stories by: Nuzha Abu Ghosh, Ibrahim Jouhar, Osama Alaysa, Rahaf al-Sa’ad, Ziad Khadash, Mahmoud Shukair, Iyad Shamasnah, Rafiqa Othman, Dima al-Samman, Majid Abu Ghosh, Muhammad Shuraim, Jameel al-Salhout, and Nuzha al-Ramlawi.

Translated from Arabic by: Roger Allen, Marilyn Booth, Catherine Cobham, Raphael Cormack, Sawad Hussain, Dr. Nazih Kassis, Nancy Roberts, and Max Weiss.

East Jerusalem Noir is being published simultaneously with West Jerusalem Noir, edited by Maayan Eitan. The companion volume explores the city with brand-new stories by Israeli authors.

Table of Contents

“The Ceiling of the City” by Nuza Abu Ghosh (Damascus Gate)
“The Scorpion” by Ibrahim Jouhar (Old City)
“Between Two Jerusalems” by Osama Alaysa (Lifta)
“In an Extraordinary City” by Rahaf al-Sa’ad (Wadi Hummus)
“Fleeing from the Assyrian Soldiers” by Ziad Khadash (Alleys of Ancient Jerusalem)

“City of Love and Loss” by Mahmoud Shukair (Omar Ibn al-Khattab Square)
“An Astronaut in Jerusalem” by Iyad Shamasnah (Jabel Mukaber)
“Diary of a Jerusalem Teacher” by Rafiqa Othman (Al-Sa’diyya)
“The Sun Still Shines” by Dima al-Samman (Musrara)

“This is Jerusalem” by Majid Abu Ghosh (Kafr Aqab)
“Noble Sanctuary” by Muhammad Shuraim (Al-Aqsa Mosque)
“Mosques, Churches, Falafel, Mujaddara” by Jameel al-Salhout (American Colony Hotel)
“Checkpoints of Death” by J.D. Nuza al-Ramlawi (Qalandia Checkpoint)


Book Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Published: 11/7/23
  • IBSN: 9781617759857
  • e-IBSN: 9781636141398


RAWYA JARJOURA BURBARA was born in Nazareth in 1969. She currently serves as chief inspector director of Arabic at the Ministry of Education, and is a lecturer in Oranim College’s language department. Burbara is also a writer, and her tenth book, a collection of short stories titled I Do Not Want to Get Used to You, was published in 2021. Her Arabic novel On the Shores of Wandering was translated into Hebrew and published by Pardes in 2020. She edited the forthcoming collection East Jerusalem Noir.

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