Unholy Land: An Unconventional Guide to Israel
Cosmopolitan writing on travel, food, culture, sex, and politics, from some of Israel’s greatest young writers
Part hipster travelogue, part from-the-ground-up look at Israeli politics, Unholy Land offers a kaleidoscope through which the reader will view the country and the region in new light and color.
Actor Rana Werbin captures a slice of life at the Mersand Cafe in Tel Aviv: four friends sipping arak and chatting about bras, one-night stands, and their monotonous jobs.
Ron Levy Arie traces the rise of the ubiquitous Sabich sandwich from its origins in Iraqi Jewish kitchens to its dominance as a street-food staple.
Julia Handelman-Smith writes about an out-of-the way hotel in Tiberius, and a tense trip to Bethlehem with her sheltered parents on Christmas Eve.
Novelist Reuven Miran writes elegiacally about a drive from Kfar Saba to Jerusalem with Ella Fitzgerald playing on the radio.
David Sorotzkin discusses the junkies and squatters he finds in the ancient city of Beersheba amid its sad dismemberment by a spate of overly-utilitarian city planners.
And finally the book’s editor, Ithamar Handleman-Smith, contributes humorous pieces on sexuality, culture, and politics. Once you have read Unholy Land, this part of the world will never look the same again.
Ithamar Handelman-Smith is a novelist, poet and translator. He has written for Haaretz, Maariv, and Time Out. His published works include Where Have You Gone, Arik Einstein? (1999), Dreaming of Junk food (2001) and The British Detective (2015). He has also translated a number of works into Hebrew, including the poetry of Charles Bukowski. He currently lives in Paris with his wife, Julia.
Edited by Ithamar Handelman-Smith
Published by Repeater Books
ISBN-13: 978-1-910924-58-7 / Paperback $14.95 / 254 pages
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, Middle East Monitor in London, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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