I grew up in the Gaza Strip and moved to the U.K in 2002 to complete my postgraduate studies in English Literature. Since then I have finished a BA, an MA and a PhD research, a chapter of the latter has recently been published in the Britain and the Muslim World: Historical Perspectives, by Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2011.
Doing a PhD was an expensive affair and one of my self-funding avenues was dancing dabke. Off the back of a fund raising party, a theatre & dance group, Al Zaytouna, was born. The group has now cemented its place as a leading troupe in Europe. Its aims are to give Western audiences the opportunity to experience Palestinian Culture through theatre, dance and music. The company has recently toured in Slovenia, Switzerland, Germany and Austria with its latest production ‘Unto the Breach’ – a dance adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V.
My writing career started in a creative writing class while doing my MA at London Metropolitan University. When asked by the tutor to write about a person or a memory of place, I wrote a poem for my cousin who was killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003. The poem was then developed into diary entries and was later rewritten as a novel entitled ‘Gaza Days’.