Ibtisam Azem is a Palestinian novelist and journalist. She was born in Taybeh, near Jaffa, and studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and later at Freiburg university (Germany) where she completed an MA in German and English Literature, and Islamic Studies.
Her first novel, Sariq al-Nawm (The Sleep Thief) was published in 2011 and her second novel, Sifr al-Ikhtifaa (The Book of Disappearance) was published in 2014, both by Dar al-Jamal (Beirut, Lebanon). A translation is forthcoming in English.
Excerpt from “The Book of Disappearance”
The novel takes place within 48 hours after the Israelis wake up to discover that all Palestinians have disappeared. The journey to find answers begins. The novel focuses on Jafa and Tel Aviv and the history of a city between the past and the present. Two narrators alternate; Alaa, a Palestinian who converses with his dead grandmother in the journal he left behind after his disappearance and his Jewish neighbor, Ariel, who is confounded by the disappearance.