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Water the Willow Tree - Memoirs of a Bethlehem Boyhood - Book Launch
Author George A. Kiraz will be in conversation about his book Water the Willow Tree: Memoirs of a Bethlehem Boyhood, with Sarah Irving and Jacob Norris. Introduced by Mahmoud Muna of the Educational Bookshop in Jerusalem. There will be opportunity for the audience to ask questions as well.

Decades after Bethlehem’s first Syriac writer Jabra Ibrahim Jabra recounted his childhood in the much acclaimed novel The First Well: A Bethlehem Boyhood, Kiraz has written this engaging memoir. He tells the story of a young Palestinian boy growing up in Bethlehem, fascinated with understanding his Syriac roots even as he drew steadily nearer to the day when he would inevitably be transplanted to the United States.

George first traces his ancestors’ migration from Upper Mesopotamia—present-day Turkey—to Palestine in the aftermath of the horrific Sayfo genocide of 1915 (known more popularly as the Armenian genocide); in doing so, he provides a personal history of the Syriac presence in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Water the Willow Tree offers an illuminating account of a Bethlehem boyhood to readers with a range of interests; anyone interested in modern Syriac heritage and diaspora, the Sayfo genocide, Palestinian history, or religious pluralism and minority communities will be alternately informed, entertained, and moved by George’s story.

George Anton Kiraz is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is the Director of Beth Mardutho and co-founder of Gorgias Press.

We’re offering this event for free.

Jul 14, 2022 05:00 PM in London

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