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Wall of Dust

Wall of Dust is a story of the human spirit—of the pain of loss and the struggle to recover. Aisha, a Palestinian schoolteacher, becomes deranged after most of her class is accidentally killed by a missile fired from an Israeli gunship. She begins a strange ritual, throwing stones at the “security barrier,” the eight-meter-tall concrete wall that separates much of the West Bank from Israel. She shouts the name of each dead child and hurls a stone at the concrete monolith. Initially alone, she is soon joined by others and her little ritual takes the form of a mass protest. At several points she might be stopped, or worse, but she is helped in small but significant ways by several other characters, Israeli and Palestinian. Each character who intercedes has experienced a loss—a career dead end, a family estrangement, a crisis of faith, a simple loss of hope—that guides their actions. The acts are small and personal: a sniper misses a shot, a teacher comforts, a stranger embraces, a father forgives, an Islamist relents. Lyrically written, full of compassion for the people of Palestine and Israel and for the land they inhabit together, Wall of Dust is a story of revelation, redemption, and the persistence of hope.

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