The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs is organizing donations of books to libraries and schools in the Gaza Strip. I'm delighted to learn that my Palestinian crime novels are included on the list, which I should add includes works by many of my favorite Arab and Muslim writers (I'm a big fan of Tariq Ali's series of novels about Muslim history, in particular The Shadow of the Pomegranate Tree, which recalls the last days of al-Andalus in medieval Spain.)
You may wonder if people sitting in the ruins of Gaza would want to read crime stories about Palestinians. Actually I've received many emails from Palestinians and other Arabs thanking me for showing the reality of the situation in which they live. I hope the people of Gaza will read my books and feel happy to know that their plight is portrayed in as accurate a manner as possible for readers all around the world -- rather than in the stereotyped terms often used in newspaper reports.
I hope you'll consider participating in the donation scheme. Gaza was truly flattened in the war that took place there at the turn of the year. Whether you consider yourself "pro-Palestinian" or "pro-Israeli," it's clear that a better life for the people of Gaza will contribute to a better, more peaceful life for their neighbors. And despite all the other necessities lacking in Gaza, books are one thing no one should have to live without.