Farid Farid; 13/5/10
“The land is like an open book on which nature and humans continuously write,” says Palestinian lawyer and writer Raja Shehadeh describing the ecological formation of the majestic geological textures of Ramallah.However, he cautions that this geographical narrative has been withered away through “Israeli settlers [who] have been sedulously writing their own script, causing tremendous destruction to the natural beauty of these hills”.Tomorrow, Palestinians will commemorate the 62nd anniversary of their dispossession. The day is known as al-Nakba or the catastrophe. The situation cannot be spoken of as the “Israel-Palestine” conflict because the latter’s geographic and political borders have shrunk to a nullifying minimum. It is aptly described in Shehadeh’s subtitle – vanishing landscape — for his Orwell Prize winning book Palestinian Walks. It is perhaps ironic that in the coming days failed peace talks will resume after an 18-month stall that has paralleled the nascent administration of US President Barack Obama.