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North Andalusia, West of the Country – Suheil Matar
The work in its essence is an attempt to reverse the concept of Western journey literature: Hence, instead of a Western voyager impressed by the cosmopolitan East, centralising oneself, the collection attempts to employ a number of Palestinian characters in diverse contexts and foreign adversities to face situations that are difficult to imagine except when they are extracted from their original Palestinian context. In this way, these characters are allowed to meet with the Other in all its forms: The Palestinian Other, the Arab Other, the Other in the regional conflict and the Other self-suppressed in his homeland. The stories use Spanish cities as backdrops and derive from each geographical space these elements that make them unique and where the characters could interact. Unlike a great deal of Arab journey literature, the work doesn’t push the local individual to the margin in a new space only to serve the purpose of the voyager—on the contrary, it integrates him with the core of different stories, so he, too, participates in major roles.