Nathalie Handal

Crucifixion: Nathalie Handal on being Palestinian, writing and enduring love


I sit by the window and wait for her to finish her story. She has the posture of a ballerina. Her honey-colored eyes against her hot magenta headscarf offer a striking contrast. We are on a bus at the Bethlehem checkpoint en route to Jerusalem. The anthology of Arabic verse I’m carrying inspired the exchange. She tells me that each time she enters Damascus Gate she recreates the day that changed her forever. Then adds that she has eleven versions so far. I don’t know what she is speaking about and for a second the sky’s paleness distracts us. She explains:

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