The Old Ladies of Nazareth
A lyrical tale of powerful simplicity, which reads like fable, this is the story of two wonderful old ladies who lived in the Holy Land, in the small town of Nazareth in the 1940s. Wardeh and Jamileh are sisters – one a widow, the other a spinster. They live frugally and in tune with their surroundings, adapting to the rhythms of nature. Following the Allied victory in Europe, unrest over the founding of a Jewish state in Palestine boils up once more. So Wardeh’s grandson, the boy, is sent from Haifa to Nazareth, then considered a haven from the hostilities. Naim Attallah’s poignant and touching portrait of the elderly ladies captures the purity of their lives; their qualities – courage, fortitude, determination, stoicism and loving kindness shine out from the page. In the style of Kahlil Gibran, the book evokes the sounds and smells of a small Palestinian town, and a way of life that is fast becoming a thing of the past.