When conflicts become entrenched over generations, the language of war infiltrates everyday life, concealing destruction and hardening positions. Nowhere is this truer than in the Middle East.
Award-winning author Raja Shehadeh explores the politics of language and the language of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reflecting on the walls that they create - legal and cultural - that confine today's Palestinians just like the borders, checkpoints and so-called "Separation Barrier". He shows how the peace process has been ground to a halt by twists of language and linguistic chicanery that have degraded the word peace itself. The situation at the world's greatest political fault line has never looked bleaker, but still Shehadeh finds reason to hope and explains why.
Raja Shehadeh is Palestine's leading writer. He is also a lawyer and the founder of the pioneering Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq. Shehadeh is the author of several acclaimed books, including Strangers in the House and Occupation Diaries and winner of the 2008 Orwell Prize for Palestinian Walks. He lives in Ramallah in Palestine.