Winners of the Palestine Book Awards Webinar Series

Lighthouse Bookshop is proud to partner with the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Society as they present a series of webinars by the winners of the 2017 Palestine Book Awards. The authors have agreed to speak in a series of webinars to audiences in Scotland and beyond about aspects of Palestine which will expand our knowledge in order to deliver effective solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Here’s a breakdown of who will be speaking:


The Commander: Fawzi Al-Qawuqji and the fight for Arab Independence 1914-1948

LAILA PARSONS – The Commander
Purchase the book HERE


Revered by some as the Arab Garibaldi, maligned by others as an intriguer and opportunist, Fawzi al-Qawuqji manned the ramparts of Arab history for four decades. As a young officer in the Ottoman Army, he fought the British in World War I and won an Iron Cross. In the 1920s, he mastered the art of insurgency and helped lead a massive uprising against the French authorities in Syria. A decade later, he reappeared in Palestine, where he helped direct the Arab Revolt of 1936.

When an effort to overthrow the British rulers of Iraq failed, he moved to Germany, where he spent much of World War II battling his fellow exile, the Mufti of Jerusalem, who had accused him of being a British spy. In 1947, Qawuqji made a daring escape from Allied-occupied Berlin, and sought once again to shape his region’s history. In his most famous role, he would command the Arab Liberation Army in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948.

In this well-crafted, definitive biography, Laila Parsons tells Qawuqji’s dramatic story and sets it in the full context of his turbulent times. Following Israel’s decisive victory, Qawuqji was widely faulted as a poor leader with possibly dubious motives. The Commander shows us that the truth was more complex: although he doubtless made some strategic mistakes, he never gave up fighting for Arab independence and unity, even as those ideals were undermined by powers inside and outside the Arab world. In Qawuqji’s life story we find the origins of today’s turmoil in the Arab Middle East.

To attend, register HERE.

Image result for ella shohatELLA SHOHAT – On the Arab-Jew, Palestine and Other Displacements
Purchase the book HERE


Ella Shohat is an Arab Jew from a Baghdadi family now living in New York. She is Professor of Cultural Studies and of Middle Eastern Studies at New York University. On the Arab-Jew, Palestine and Other Displacements was written over 30 years and tackles the record of Zionism in relation to Arab Jews, a term Zionism seeks to make inconceivable.

See 5-minute

An essay by Prof Shohat Reflections by an Arab Jew
“I am an Arab Jew. Or, more specifically, an Iraqi Israeli woman living, writing and teaching in the U.S. Most members of my family were born and raised in Baghdad, and now live in Iraq, Israel, the U.S., England, and Holland. When my grandmother first encountered Israeli society in the ’50s, she was convinced that the people who looked, spoke and ate so differently–the European Jews–were actually European Christians. Jewishness for her generation was inextricably associated with Middle Easterness. My grandmother, who still lives in Israel and still communicates largely in Arabic, had to be taught to speak of “us” as Jews and “them” as Arabs. For Middle Easterners, the operating distinction had always been “Muslim,” “Jew,” and “Christian,” not Arab versus Jew. The assumption was that “Arabness” referred to a common shared culture and language, albeit with religious differences.

To attend, register HERE.

Image result for ibtisam barakatIBTISAM BARAKAT – Balcony on the Moon
Purchase the book HERE


The speaker in August is Ibtisam Barakat whose autobiograhical Balcony on the Moon; Coming of Age in Palestine has received critical praise.

“Lyrical and moving, Barakat’s first-person, present-tense story catapults the reader into a time when political tensions and the battle for human rights rage on, and the fight, not only for survival, but to have a voice is in full swing.

Not to be missed, this memoir is a wonderful additional to any library”.  VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

“Being Palestinian teaches you to be ready for any destiny.” This is a compelling personal history, brimming with humor, wisdom, and empathy.” Publishers Weekly

This intense memoir paints a dark picture of growing up in Israeli-occupied Palestine, where “we are made to live with no land, no country, no rights, no safety, and no respect for our dignity.” Her father’s despair looms large. A memorable chapter read here by the author recounts his threat to kill himself by crashing his truck; the whole family insists on accompanying him on the ride.

To attend, register HERE.

Image result for ben ehrenreichBEN EHRENREICH – The Way To The Spring
Purchase the book HERE


US award-winning journalist and novelist, Ben Ehrenreich, on the themes of his critically acclaimed On the Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. The author spent three years documenting the lives of Palestine’s West Bank residents. He will share his first-hand experiences of the Friday demos in Nabi Saleh, where Ahed and her mother Nariman Tamimi were snatched in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers  and other family members have been killed and severly wounded.

The ‘spring’ in the title is Nabi Saleh’s water source stolen by the nearby settlement and the focus of the weekly demonstrations there.

Ben concludes his introduction to On the Way to the Spring “[T]his book is a work of optimism, and of hope…because even in their despair, with no reason to hope, people continue to resist. I cannot think of many other reasons to be proud of being human, but that one is enough.”

“A powerful and brilliantly realized scream of a book, scorching and tender, from a journalist whose anger and empathy burn through every word.” Granta Publishers

“Ehrenreich reveals a Palestine that is defined not by loss, but by ‘semi-magical’ defiance and vitality. Despite their land ‘vanishing beneath their feet’, life continues and, as one young resident puts it, remains ‘beautiful’. Financial Times

2-minute video: 

To attend, register HERE.


Purchase the book HERE

Petter Bauck worked in Palestine as a conflict advisor for the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation from 2000 to 2003. Mohammed Omer is a Palestinian journalist and recipient of the
Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. The Oslo Accords: A Critical Assessment, examines the Oslo Accords; did the agreement have a reasonable chance of success? What went wrong? What are the recommendations today to show a way forward?
See 4-minute
& 21-minute




All titles featured are now available from the Lighthouse’s online shop HERE