Do Gazans ever have fun? Is the Strip beautiful? And do TV reports actually reflect ordinary life inside the world’s largest ‘open-air prison’?
From beautiful beaches to sealed borders, from a secret New Year’s Eve party to a lingerie market staffed entirely by men, award-winning writer Louisa Waugh paints an intimate picture of Gaza, revealing the pleasures and pains, hopes and frustrations of Gazans going about their daily lives.
Meet Me in Gaza is an evocative portrait of a Mediterranean land and its people, and a touching account of what it means to be Gazan.
About the Author
Louisa B. Waugh lived and worked in the Gaza Strip from December 2007 to April 2009. Her other works include Hearing Birds Fly: A Nomadic Year in Mongolia, which won the 2004 inaugural Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and Selling Olga: Stories of Human Trafficking and Resistance. www.the-waugh-zone.org
‘This book celebrates Gaza, its joys, its iron will to survive in the face of adversity and the humour that sustains its people. Vividly written, it is infused with a love of life.’ Raja Shehadeh
‘Powerful and deeply heartfelt … Louisa Waugh has succeeded in showing us the true face of Gaza. I urge everyone to read this.’ Izzeldin Abuelaish
‘A moving and fascinating insight into life in Gaza … Because Waugh stays so long I’ve begun to feel I know what life is like there, the weariness and terror, the unexpected pleasures, and the many, many invitations to dinner.’ Esther Freud
‘It is the work of a gifted writer who observes sensitively, but not uncritically, the Gazans she meets and befriends ... A welcome addition to the few existing titles on the Gaza shelf.’
Gerald Butt, The Middle East in London
‘A tender portrait of beleaguered humanity’
'The beautiful normality of people shines from each page — ordinary, quirky people forced to live in the most brutal of situations, coping one day after another. Waugh’s book is a worthy tribute to them.'
Sarah Irving, Electronic Intifada
'Waugh finds laughter, rage, resistance and beauty in Gaza and even, despite all the odds, hope. Her honest and big-hearted celebration of the Gazan people deserves the warmest welcome.' Stars: 5
New Internationalist, www.newint.org
‘The power and value of this brave account lies in [Waugh’s] description of the people of Gaza and the lives they live’
Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times Travel Books of the Month 'Powerful … By humanising media stereotypes Waugh provides a sensitive portrayal of Gazan life … It takes a rare and subtle voice to gently turn our attention to such terrible images, to humanise suffering and in doing so force us to respond to it.’ Wasafiri
Longlisted for the Dolman Best Travel Book of the Year Award 2014