There was… and there was not…

The traditional beginning of a Palestinian tale “kan ya ma kan” (“there was and there was not”) is apt for this, the first post of my writing blog. It’s perfect, because, well… it’s here! You’re reading it right now! But it’s also… not; it is about to be. What it will become, only time can tell. I hope it will be an enjoyable experience for all who pass through from the wide world.

The present purpose of this blog is to provide a home for a project I’ve been working on: a collection of Palestinian folktales. I’m quite far along in the process of creating this book but there is still a long way to go. I invite you to join me. There will be commentaries and reviews on sources of and about Palestinian folk literature, musings about writer’s craft, and illustration. That sort of thing.

My name is Sonia Sulaiman. I’m a writer, artist, teacher, and literature scholar from Windsor, Ontario, Canada. This book will be my first, and it really just has to be written. That’s all there is to it. My father is a Palestinian refugee, one of those who were ethnically cleansed from Palestine when Israel was created. He is from a village called Ein Karem, (“the vineyard spring”), now a part of modern west Jerusalem. It is famed for being the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist. Thankfully, I’ve already picked up some stories and lore to enthuse about with you another time. My mother is “Assorted European,” as I like to say, and I will could write a book about the lore on that side of things someday.

While you are here, since there isn’t any actual content at the moment, please enjoy this medieval illumination of a rare horse-egg. (Sorry, it doesn’t really have anything to do with Palestinian folktales but I think you’ll agree, it’s pretty neat).


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