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Behind the Wall: Life, Love, and Struggle in Palestine Hardcover – February 1, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Rich Wiles's work is exemplary. Clear-sighted and passionate, he provides the frame and the focus for the Palestinians to tell their own stories. These are stories that the world needs to hear.”—Ahdaf Souief, political commentator and author of Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground
(Ahdaf Souief 2009-11-07)

“Palestine is the most important issue for humanity because its justice is so long overdue, and its people have been so betrayed, yet it exemplifies a courage and endurance no oppressor can kill. In his superb collection Behind the Wall, Rich Wiles captures these qualities in the struggles and faces of those who will not allow us to forget.”—John Pilger, award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist, and author of Freedom Next Time
(John Pilger 2009-11-08)

Behind the Wall is a book of powerful stories, conveyed most eloquently by the author and told by ordinary people describing their extraordinary existence. Rich Wiles’s captivating narrative transcends politics and rebuffs the very desensitizing nature of news related to Palestine and Israel. Instead, Behind the Wall delves into the heart of the conflict—the disaffected Palestinians—including the original refugees of 60 years ago and their descendents, who continue to struggle for rights and recognition. Their undying resilience will endure until rights are restored, justice is delivered, and freedom is attained. Until then, those refugees, feeding on memory and hope, will continue to exist behind the Wall. While they may be physically trapped, their stories don’t have to be. Rich Wiles’s book is a most admired effort at getting the story out. This book must be read, and forever remembered.”—Ramzy Baroud, journalist, former Al-Jazeera producer, and author of The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle
(Ramzy Baroud 2009-11-09)

“A moving insight into the individual experiences of life under occupation and imprisonment. The book allows the people themselves to speak about their horrific experience and their remarkable struggle for survival and normality against all odds. A most valuable and humane contribution to a better understanding of the Palestinian plight in the face of an escalating Israeli brutality and inhumanity.”—Ilan Pappé, historian, human rights activist, and author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
(Ilan Pappé 2009-11-11)

“Rarely has the Palestinian experience of occupation—its everyday frustrations, cruelties and injustices—been captured better than in these richly varied and very human stories told by Rich Wiles. Too often the voice of the Palestinians is denied or overlooked: this book seeks to correct that additional indignity by reminding the reader that behind Israel's Wall a people continues to demand the freedoms most of us take for granted.”—Jonathan Cook, journalist and author of Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair
(Jonathan Cook 2009-11-12)

"The book offers a picture of ordinary Palestinians that is both expansive and vivid. . . .manages to address Palestinians' deep frustrations in creative ways."—Christian Science Monitor
(Christian Science Monitor 2010-02-05)

About the Author

Rich Wiles is a British photographic artist and human rights activist. He is the Coordinator of International Relations at Lajee Center in Aida Refugee Camp where he directs collaborative youth arts projects; he has also run similar projects in UK schools. Exhibitions of his photographs and youth arts projects have been shown extensively across Europe, in Australia, in the United States, and in Palestine itself. His photos have been published by the British Journal of Photography, Times Educational Supplement, and Yorkshire Post, and in Palestine by Haq-Al-Awda and Al Majdal. He currently lives in Palestine.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books; 1 edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597974390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597974394
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,597,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
So much of what we see in the U.S. press is what appears on the 24-hour news loop, not what happens behind the scenes when the cameras are turned off. However, there is a reality out there, in the shadows, behind the Israeli built wall to exclude. Here, Rich Wiles brings home that reality, and if not in living color, then surely in unforgettably grotesque and heart-wrenching emotional pictures.

The pain that we Americans do not see; and pretend not to know is being inflicted on the Palestinians every hour of every day is brought out into the open here. Our collective denial can finally end with this book: Through Rich Wiles journalistic eyes we finally get to see a stark reality that has been shielded from our delicate and sensitive pro-Israeli eyes. And it is not a pretty sight.

I am not a sentimental person, nor especially pro-Palestinian (or anti-Israeli), yet even for me, this is an amazingly powerful read. It is about suffering, about pathos, about the life of the dispossessed, about oppression and repression, hostility and unimaginable and unaccounted for hatred. It is a story of arbitrariness of military rule, of decapitating air strikes, targeting of primary infrastructures, incursions into farmland, villages, of shortages of every imaginable basic necessity, including water. It is about a superior adversary with a deep seated and conscious plan to demean and to dehumanize, and one that systematically succeeds at it while the rest of the world watches, stunned and cajoled into silence.

Indeed, is it not reasonable to ask: where did we last see this picture? I believe it was when Arthur Koestler, among many others, was trying to raise to the attention of the world what was going on behind the screen in Nazi Germany in the concentration camps.
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By Maya on August 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Excellent read for those of us who do not know much about the conflict, or wish we knew more. Touching and profound.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rich Wiles creates face to face meetings with Palestinians who are refugees in their own country but trapped in the Israeli illegal occupation that illegally denies them their right under international law to return to their beloved villages.

We learn intimately of the anguish of unemployed fathers desperate to care for families that survive, just, on the poverty line. We glimpse the inner trauma of prisoners ( even children)tortured by Israeli military and share their familiy's rapture on their release; we cry along with the generational pain of nostagia for stolen farms with once cared-for orchards, olive trees, rocks and wild herbs. We feel the fear when enclosed by Israeli snipers and belligerant soldiers and colonial settlers; we are strung out by concern for relatives taken to hospitals that we are not permitted to visit; we crouch in terror as soldiers invade homes in the night or scream as a home is demolished around us.

Simply put- we enter the 'normal' life of Palestinian refugee families.

We leave Wiles' book amazed by the courage of Palestinians and their samoud (steadfastness) for the love of their land and for their rights under international law.
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Format: Kindle Edition
'Behind The Wall' has got to be one of the best books I have read regarding the current Palestinian situation! Not only does it highlight key dates and facts, but most importantly it highlights the everyday people who have suffered, loved, and never given up fighting for what is theirs. The stories literally will bring tears to your eyes and every account is one that should be heard and known. I am so proud of my Palestinian brothers and sisters for the struggle they have endured and I cannot express how thankful I am for Mr. Wiles' extraordinary effort in capturing the events of those who cannot tell them themselves. We are forever grateful for your work and dedication and please know that we will never forget!

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who is capable. You will not be disappointed. Aywa Falasteen!
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