every morning this week (monday 23rd to friday 27th), 9.45-10.00am (repeated 12.30am), on bbc radio 4
where the line is drawn (by raja shehadeh, read by peter polycarpou) (5 episodes, in the book of the week series)
“Raja Shehadeh reflects on his forty year friendship with Henry Abramovitch, a Jewish Israeli.
1. As idealistic young men when they first meet in 1977, they connect over shared interests in literature, writing and walking. As the years pass, their friendship is challenged by history, politics, enmity and violence, but it also points the way to a common future.
2. He visits Jaffa, the city from which his father was exiled during the Nakba in 1948 when 750,000 were forced from their homes with the end of the British Mandate and the creation of Israel. It’s now 1978 and he is staying with Jewish friends who moved into one of the old Arab houses in Jaffa. He is curious about their choice of home.
3. He recollects a humiliating experience on his way home to Ramallah.
4. He remembers a terrifying night time drive. Meanwhile, tense times lie ahead for Raja and Henry as the new millennium dawns.
5. He receives shocking news and he comes to a new understanding about the value of his friendship with Henry.
Raja Shehadeh’s books include Occupation Diaries; Language of War, Language of Peace and Palestinian Walks, which won the 2008 Orwell Prize. He has contributed to The New York Times, The Guardian and Granta.
He is an award winning Palestinian writer, lawyer, and founder of the human right’s organisation, Al Haq.”