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Rhona Davies and Peter R. Johnson
Calgary, Detselig Enterprises, 1991. 256pp, paper, $19.95
ISBN 1-55059-025-1. CIP

Subject Headings:
Gaza Strip-Description and travel.
Intifada, 1987-

Grades 12 and up / Ages 17 and up

Reviewed by Eric Bonfield

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

Rhona Davies and Peter Johnson have woven the many strands, often torn by tragedy and brutality and coloured frequently by every range of emotion, to reveal the fabric of life in Gaza during the intifada. The text of this book beckons intimacy through a dated diary format and helps the reader come to grips with the almost daily round of curfews, confrontations, and house arrests under military occupation. The authors did not request any of the protection and privileges usually extended to westerners. Instead, they trusted the integrity of their relationships with their Palestinian friends and neighbours to protect them.

This book is well written. The vocabulary and style would make it exciting reading for students in grades 8 to 12. There are Arabic words liberally sprinkled throughout the text and defined unobtrusively in context. The numerous black-and-white photographs of the authors with some of the people they met add further to the personal appeal and authenticity of this book.

The image of Gaza that is brought to life is one of a landscape frequently dominated by a ruthless and determined Israeli army pitted against the sticks and stones of an equally determined Palestinian population bent upon survival and the right to land and self-determination. The book is not sympathetic to the Israeli and U.S. governments and does not try to conceal the pro-Palestinian bias.

I highly recommend this book for use in high school libraries. It is suitable for general reading or for enriching the social studies curriculum.

Eric Bonfield, Shawnigan Lake School, Shawnigan, B.C.
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