Border Love: Claire Hajaj & Dorit Rabinyan | Kings Place

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Travel to Kings Place

Border Love: Claire Hajaj & Dorit Rabinyan

Jewish Book Week 2017
Spoken Word / Sunday, 26 February 2017 - 12:30pm / Hall Two
£8.50* / Multi-Event Discount Available

Claire Hajaj’s assured and ambitious debut Ishmael’s Oranges and Dorit Rabinyan’s prize-winning All the Rivers are spellbinding novels exploring the faultlines that threaten the likelihood of enduring love between Arab and Jew.

In a captivating narrative of love and loss, Ishmael’s Oranges tells the story of two families against the background of repeated conflicts to examine whether love can transcend the legacy of hatred.

In a momentous tale, crisscrossed by physical and emotional borderlines, Dorit Rabinyan’s All the Rivers courageously demarcates an intimate short-term space for two, far from the tensions and fissures that create the separation between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

In conversation with the director of the forthcoming M-Fest, critic Arifa Akbar.


Arifa Akbar is a journalist, literary critic, and director of ‘M-Fest’, a forthcoming Muslim festival of books and ideas, to be launched in September 2017 at Kings Place. The former literary editor of the Independent, she judges many prestigious prizes, chairs many author events, writes book reviews for the Financial Times, is a regular newspaper reviewer for Sky News, and is on the advisory committee for English PEN’s writing-in-translation programme.

Claire Hajaj has spent her life building bridges between two worlds, sharing both Palestinian and Jewish heritage. Her childhood was split between the deserts of the Middle East and the gardens of rural England. She has lived on four continents and worked for the United Nations in war zones from Burma to Baghdad. A former journalist for the BBC World Service, Claire’s writing has also appeared in Time Out.

Dorit Rabinyan was born in Kfar Saba, Israel, in 1972 to a Persian-Jewish family and now lives in Tel Aviv. She published her first novel at the age of 22. In addition to her novels, Rabinyan has written a screenplay for commercial television, Shuli’s Fiance, and a children’s book. She now hosts a weekly TV culture programme. Rabinyan has been awarded the Wiener Prize, the JQ Wingate Award, the Best Drama of the Year Award from the Israel Film Academy, the Prime Minister’s Prize, the Literary ACUM Award and the Bernstein Prize and the Publishers Association’s Platinum Prize.

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Photos from top: Claire Hajaj, Dorit Rabinyan, Arifa Akbar

*Please add £2 per ticket if booking via the Box Office in person or by telephone.