This passionate autobiography—at once history lesson, prison memoir, metaphysical inquiry, love story, and cry for justice—provides insights into the Israeli occupation and the struggle of the Palestinian people.
One of more than 5,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons before October 7, 2023, Nasser Abu Srour serves a life sentence with no possibility of parole. From the Nakba to the disastrous consequences of the Oslo Accords, he explains with great acumen how the Intifada of the Stones (1987–1993) ultimately provided the only option for young Palestinians in refugee camps to infuse meaning into their lives, especially as they faced a constant threat of humiliation and manipulation by Israeli intelligence. This uprising leads to Abu Srour’s incarceration, after he was forced to confess, under torture, to involvement in the killing of a Shin Bet officer who recruited his cousin as an informant.
Within his cell, Abu Srour turns the Wall that has deprived him of freedom into his interlocutor and the source of stability that allows him to endure a chaotic, hopeless existence. The limitations of this survival strategy—and singular literary device—become painfully evident when falling in love causes Abu Srour to lose his grip on the Wall. Only by writing the story of his imprisonment and the story of his love does Abu Srour find his way back. In doing so, he has created a work of art that transcends his pain while shining a glaring light on the ongoing tragedy of the Palestinian situation.