REVIEW: “Song of the Birds” by Saleem Haddad

Review of Saleem Haddad, “Song of the Birds”, in Basma Ghalayini, ed., Palestine+100, (Comma Press, 2019): 1-19 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

Content warning: Suicide.

This was a tough, raw, harsh story to open up the anthology with. At first, the future that Haddad imagines for Palestine doesn’t feel that much different from the present it is currently embroiled in, but as the story progresses, and we, like Aya the main character, learn more about what is actually going on, it gets even worse. This is not a hopeful story, not an uplifting story, but one weighed down by the burden of the inescapability of collective memory. Tough stuff.