A Party For Thaera
Palestinian Women Write Life In Prison
Edited by Haifa Zangana
New Delhi, 2021
The new inmates were greeted with enthusiasm. Was it the energy they exuded, their different haircuts, their tanned skin, their slim bodies that had not yet suffered the consequences of being on a diet of margarine and cheap jam?
I was living my life—working, acting in theatre and studying the law. Now here I am in an Israeli prison, with the minutes frozen in time. I simply cannot carry on. Death would be more merciful.
In a first, nine politically-diverse women, former Palestinian political prisoners, sat around a table in a small room in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, to share their stories of incarceration. These non-writers learnt to express the reality of their time in prison, of the separation from their children, of the endless struggles against Israeli occupation, to produce heartfelt narratives that go beyond simply recalling the details of their sentence or revisiting their trauma. Instead, this unique volume transforms their experiences into an expression of the self, giving readers an “exceptional” insight into an almost unknown women’s world, of life and love behind bars and beyond.