The three works by Salman Natour that are brought together here in a novel lead the reader through unfamiliar—sometimes hidden—paths of the country, the homeland, and memory. The three parts lay before us a map we never knew: spaces that coil within each other as if by magic, because of the illusions of overt and covert time. The path from Daliyat el-Carmel to Paris passes through al-Hiriya, and the path between Nazareth and Nablus passes through London and Rome. This is the journey to what is Jewish, what is Arab, and what is between them. Al-Quds and Jerusalem, Beisan and Beit She’an, Haifa and Heifa. The stories that arise, one climbing on the back of the other—with restraint, irony, and humor, but also with pain—together form an exceptional cultural treasure for those in the country and those who dream about it.
Salman Natour (1949–2016), one of the prominent Arab-Palestinian intellectuals in Israel, was a writer, playwright, editor, and translator. Among his many roles, he was the editor of the cultural supplement of the daily al-Ittihad, the editor of the monthly al-Jadid for literature and art, and the editor of the journal Qadaya Israeliya, published in Ramallah. He wrote more than thirty books and translated many works from Arabic to Hebrew and from Hebrew to Arabic. He also served as the secretary-general of the Arab Writers Union in Israel. Salman Natour was born in Daliyat el-Carmel and lived there all his life.