Home / news / A tank under the Christmas tree … The transformations of the Palestinian comedy “The Trilogy of Bells” by Ibrahim Nasrallah

A tank under the Christmas tree … The transformations of the Palestinian comedy “The Trilogy of Bells” by Ibrahim Nasrallah

In his recent novel series “The Three Bells”, the Palestinian Jordanian writer Ibrahim Nasrallah completes his project “The Palestinian Comedy”, which included 6 novels covering 250 years of modern Palestinian history. Today, the writer won the Katara Prize for Arabic Fiction for the second time for the third and last part of the trilogy that tells a story Contemporary Palestinian people.

The series begins with the novel “Shades of the Keys” – which has 138 pages – It deals with the story of “Mary”, in which the memory of the Palestinian cause is embodied from the Nakba to the present time. It follows the events of 1948, the displacement of Palestinians, their killing, the besieging of their villages and the demolition of their towns, and even the story of Maryam’s sheltering an Israeli soldier who hired her asking for shelter and safety and comparing it with her son Omar.

The novel follows the shadows of the house keys and the ringing of their bells from which their owners were forcibly displaced, and it tells of their fleeing from their villages in the hope of returning and their clinging to the keys, and their belief that what happened was a mere summer cloud and soon things would return to their place and the keys revolve around the doors marking the return of their absentee owners.

Mariam used to hear her and cry, and she was baffled by how the keys hit each other and this sad voice was issued on her, and there was only one key hanging in the chest of each of them.

Cover of “Shadows of the Keys” (Al Jazeera)

Mariam diaspora

The novel deals with the Palestinian diaspora at home and abroad, and quotes one of the protagonists of the novel describing him as “the most cruel thing is that you feel that you are far from your homeland in the diaspora while you are still living in that homeland.”

Ibrahim Nasrallah divided his narration into 3 chapters that began in the last months before the Nakba, then the time of the Nakba in 1967, and finally the time of the Palestinian uprising in 1987, and Maryam and her husband Abu Jasser and their family live these three time stages in the hope of returning to their village from which they were displaced.

The novel proceeds in chronological sequence not without a “flashback”, revealing the story of Nahum, his turn against Jamil Maryam, his bombing of the village, and his visit to her two decades later.

The novel deals with the ugliness of the occupation and its cruelty to the people of the Palestinian village of Ras al-Sarw, and the epic of grief that describes the relationship of the Palestinian people with olive trees, oranges, stones, dirt and houses, and the war of memory. Palestinian comedy. “

In the second part of the trilogy, entitled “Ayn’s Biography,” Nasrallah continues the narration, drawing on the character of the pioneering Palestinian photographer Karima Abboud (1893-1940) who presents a model of a woman rebelling against a traditional society, and the story of a family that curses the British colonialism of Palestine.

In the third part of the trilogy – the winner of the Katara Prize for Arabic Fiction – Nasrallah contemplates the state of Palestine over a period of 75 years, starting from the First World War until the end of the first Palestinian uprising. Houses in a time of facing the occupation.

In a previous interview with the author, Nasrallah I.N “The major issues require high technical standards to express them,” adding that “it is the right of the reader to buy my book because it is good, not because his hand or his heart is in fire with me as he is Palestinian or Arab, nor because he sympathizes with me as a foreigner because I write about Palestine.”

Nasrallah considered Palestine to be a daily test for the conscience of the world, adding that “if this racist entity was located on the last island in the east or west of this planet, we would have to be against it, against its bloody, and against the killing licenses granted to it from the West and the East and what is between them of Arab jelly. “.

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