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Rabai al-Madhoun


Returning to Khan Yunis

[Raba'i al-Madhoun. Image copyright Telegram Books.]

The English translation of Rabai al-Madhoun’s acclaimed novel, The Lady from Tel Aviv has just been published by Telegram Books. It tells the story of a novelist returning home to the Gaza Strip for the first time in decades. Like Ghassan Kanafani in Returning to Haifa, Madhoun explores the difficulties of Palestinian return and the collisions between memory and experience. The following is an excerpt.  Returning to Khan Yunis I spent my morning wandering around ...

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Rabai al-Madhoun

Rabai al-Madhoun was born in 1945 in the village of al-Majdal, near the city of Ashkelon (Asqalan) in present-day Israel. Like hundreds of thousands of other Palestinians, he and his family were expelled from the country in 1948. Madhoun grew up in the refugee camp of Khan Younis located in the Gaza Strip. He graduated from UNRWA schools, then left Gaza to attend Alexandria University. Later, he became involved with the Palestinian liberation struggle as a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Madhoun left activism in 1980 to focus on writing. Now a British citizen, Madhoun is an editor with al-Sharq al-Awsat. He is the author of a collection of short stories, The Idiot of Khan Younis (1977) and a fictional memoir, The Taste of Separation, as well as studies in Palestinian politics. His novel The Lady from Tel Aviv was shortlisted for the IPAF (Arabic Booker) Prize in 2010.