Sayed Kashua

02/03/2008 11:15 am

Dancing Arabs, Sayed Kashua’s first novel, has been praised around the world for its uniquely human portrayal of a bright young Arab educated in an Israeli school who, trying to fit in two societies, ends up becoming a stranger in both. In Let It Be Morning, a journalist brings his family back to his native Arab village. Life is difficult, but it becomes impossible when Israeli tanks cut them off from the rest of the country. Both gripping novels address the political and human issues faced by this disempowered part of the population. Sayed Kashua spoke to the author of The Bethlehem Murders Matt Rees about identity, belonging, writing in Hebrew and being both Arab and Israeli today.

Sayed Kashua

Sayed Kashua is an Israeli Arab author and journalist who is well-known for books and humorous columns in Hebrew. Kashua was a resident of Beit Safafa before moving to a Jewish neighbourhood of Jerusalem with his wife and two children.

Matt Beynon Rees

As a journalist, Matt Beynon Rees has covered the Middle East for over a decade. He\'s a Contributor for Time based in Jerusalem, where he was the magazine\'s bureau chief from June 2000 until January 2006. Matt Beynon Rees published a nonfiction account of the divisions within Israeli and Palestinian societies called Cain\'s Field: Faith, Fratricide, and Fear in the Middle East in 2004. Bethlehem Murders was the first of a series of novels about Palestinian sleuth Omar Yussef .