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The Book of Disappearance

Join Librarians and Archivists with Palestine for our One Book, Many Communities campaign this May and June! Our chosen reading this year is

by Ibtisam Azem, translated from the original Arabic by Sinan Antoon. The Book of Disappearance imagines what would happen if Palestinians in the State of Israel suddenly disappeared without a trace.

Set in modern-day Jaffa and the greater Tel Aviv area, the story follows Alaa, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, and his friend Ariel, a Jewish Israeli. After Alaa disappears, Ariel finds Alaa's journals. Alaa's memory of his late grandmother, a survivor of the Nakba, confronts Ariel's liberal Zionist convictions. Even in his absence, Alaa's family memories create a dialogue with Ariel as the crisis of the mass disappearance unfolds.

While in previous years, One Book has been an in-person book discussion initiative, we are re-launching it as a remote reading campaign in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more about the One Book campaign and how to get the book on our website. If you would be interested in joining a One Book event with other UJPO members, email Hilary at

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