I have been studying the Israeli/Palestinian conflict since 9/11 and already own many books on the subject. But this is the one I have been waiting for to share with family and friends.An unexpected, unlikely love letter to Palestine. It will invite comparisons to Eat Pray Love, I imagine. But Fast Times in Palestine is funnier, more interesting, and more levelheaded in a way I appreciate.This book was truly amazing. One of those books that you finish and think, 'Man, if everyone read this...'This book surprised me. At first I thought the author was some tree-hugging liberal loon, but throughout the book she showed a rational mind, and wrote an interesting story about life in Palestine. I'll credit this book for changing my stance on the entire Israel-Palestinian conflict.I bought this book with the hope of learning about Palestinian culture and writing a good paper for school, and what I got out of it was so much more. I believe it should be required reading in schools, and I'm encouraging everyone I know to read it.It is refreshing and eye opening to read so many positive stories about the people of Palestine. I realize now how little I knew about them, and am sorry to say that most of it was negative. Since reading this, I have been doing a lot of research and talking with friends and family about what I am learning about Palestine. The book is a classic recounting of what it's like to travel to Palestine and live there as a foreigner, as the Israeli military occupation slowly reveals itself to you. This book is amazing on many levels.
~ Nigel Parry, writer and activistFor a few years now I have been struggling with the urge to write an account of life in my community that would attract readers not because of its subject matter or politics but because of its style and plot. It would be read for pleasure and inform only incidentally. Right away I realized Pamela Olson had done exactly that.
~ Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh, author of A Doctor in GalileeI was hooked right away. I could vividly picture the land she was seeing and the people she was talking to... and the horrors she was experiencing.I found Fast Times in Palestine to be authentic, funny, tragic and well-documented. Most of all, it was readable. Sometimes it's hard to swallow all the tradegies of the West Bank & Gaza. However, this book kept me turning pages on the Kindle.This is a wonderful book. It is human, well-written, appalled, compassionate, questing, surprising and overall very enjoyable indeed. It's not preachy, it's not over-dramatic but manages to make its point hit home all the harder for the pragmatic and balanced voice of its author.For anyone just out of college, struggling to find their place in the world, and wanting to make a difference, this book will open your eyes to the possibilities out there. In the small acts where Israelis and Palestinians work together, the author shows you a future that we must insist upon: where Palestinians and Israelis have equal measures of peace, freedom, political power, and access to resources. If the world fails to make this a reality, this book shows you just how very much we all have to lose. Okay, I admit I settled into reading Fast Times in Palestine expecting a solid effort by an earnest young person about a subject I am interested in. To my delight, I found an absorbing and extremely enlightening book by a gifted and deeply insightful author... Pamela has an exquisite sense of place and describes the landscape in loving and tender and very apt detail... Pamela Olson is a deeply humane, eloquently intelligent being with a gift for telling a good story.I found Ms Olson's book thoroughly enjoyable as well as disturbing in its contents. To be honest, I also felt a little angry that I have been so ignorant of the perspective of an entire group of people.Having lived in the West Bank myself for a while, I was taken aback at how well Olson manages to convey the surreal feeling of the region during the Second Intifada. It's a perspective that's long overdue.Not sure what I was expecting when I started reading it, but the damned thing kept me up all night!!! Pam's account humanized life over there more than anything else I've read.Despite the bleakness of the situation the kindness and hospitality of the people shines through. The story takes you on one person's journey, but by the end of it you get the big picture of a beautiful land, a rich culture and wonderful people.
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