Unholy Land

The 2nd edition of Unholy Land is now available. Part hipster travelogue and featuring short stories and essays, Unholy Land is an irreverent collection from a cache of Israel’s most talented young writers. This alternative guide to Israel features entertaining essays and short stories. I translated Roy “Chicky” Arad’s poem, Israeli Textile, which captures a farcical scene in which the hollowed-out employees of a doomed textile plant in Dimona stage a last-ditch protest.
Topics include the rise of the ubiquitous Sabich sandwich from it’s origins in Iraqi Jewish kitchens to its dominance as a street-food staple.
* Fashion journalist Sahar Shalev ponders Israeli gay men’s love affair with the sleeveless t-shirt.
* Nadia T Boshnak writes about her people – a Muslim minority called the Circassians who live in a small village in the North.
* Sagi Benita gently satirizes the kibbutzim movement while talking about the time when he and his friends were cast as extras in Rambo.
* Ronen Shamir finds the roots of division between an Arab and Jewish neighborhood in the way power lines were laid in the 1920s.
* Actor Rana Werbin captures a slice of life at the Mersand Cafe in Tel Aviv: four friends sipping arak and chatting about bras, colonics, one night stands, and their monotonous jobs.
* The book’s editor, Ithamar Handleman-Smith, has contributed humorous pieces on sexuality, culture, and politics.

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