14 February 2007 0 Comments

McClatchy Newspapers: Omar Personalizes Palestinians

McClatchy Newspapers Middle East bureau chief Dion Nissenbaum publishes an interview with me today. It features in two of the US chain’s biggest papers, the Miami Herald and the San Jose Mercury News. Dion picked up on something about The Collaborator of Bethlehem that I think will appeal very much to readers, at a time when there are so many tragedies in the Middle East that the enormous death toll sometimes seems unreal and ceases to have an emotional impact:

Rees said he wanted the book to help readers see the Middle East conflict with a more personal connection. “Next time they look at the newspaper and the bare statistics, I want them to think: `That’s a friend of Omar. That’s someone I might be reading about in the book.’ I want it to have a kind of humanity they can relate to.”

Dion’s full story is at:

It’s good to be interviewed by a journalist like Nissenbaum. He’s a quiet interviewer who’s prepared to listen and understand, and believe me that’s by no means a universal trait among foreign correspondents. He was kidnapped by gunmen in Gaza a while back, which leads me to believe he’ll be interested in the next Omar book A Grave in Gaza. I’m not saying why, but that’s just a little hint…

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