The Sea Cloak by Nayrouz Qarmout (tr. Charis Bredin)

I read this short story in The Book of Gaza (ed. Atef Abu Saif)

a nutshell: a sensory snapshot of relationships in Gaza – under the strain of society’s prying eyes

a line: “The noise of the past would grant her no respite”

an image: a littered beach is beautified by an allusion to dreaming souls sheltering within the scattered tents; Nayrouz describes Gaza as a young girl yet to learn the art of elegance

a thought: even when thrown into a crisis, a woman’s fear of shame controls her actions

a fact: the challenge of copying & transporting a story from Gaza to Jerusalem’s publishing houses led to the short story form blossoming, so much so that Gaza became known in Palestinian circles abroad as ‘the exporter of oranges and short stories’ 

*bonus fact*: unfamiliar with the term ‘nargila’, I looked it up to find it was the Hebrew word for hookah, rooted in the Sanskrit for ‘coconut’ – which suggests early hookahs were hewn from coconut shells


want to read The Book of Gaza? visit here

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