A diary documenting life during the Israel-Gaza war will be published by a minister of the Palestinian Authority.
Next month, a record of daily life in Gaza following the 7 October attacks, penned by Palestinian Authority minister of culture Atef Abu Saif, will be released.
Comma Press plans to publish the book, Don’t Look Left: A Diary of Genocide, in English on or around February 8th. An initial edition, which documented the first 60 days since October 7th, was made available as an ebook on December 26th while Abu Saif was residing in a tent in Rafah. The printed version will encompass 85 days of the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Abu Saif, a native of Jabalia Camp in the northern area of Gaza city, relocated to the West Bank in 2019 upon becoming a minister. During a visit to Gaza with his son Yasser, who is 15 years old, they were caught in the midst of Hamas’ unexpected attack on Israel. The attack resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,200 individuals and the abduction of over 240 hostages. In response, Israel declared war and launched both air and ground assaults, leading to the deaths of more than 23,350 Palestinians since October 7th. As of the end of 2023, it was estimated that nearly 85% of Gaza’s population had been displaced.
Abu Saif wrote numerous entries in his diary in the form of WhatsApp messages and voice memos sent to his publisher. According to Comma Press, the book chronicles Abu Saif’s experiences as he joins the many Gazans who are forced to flee for safety after the hotel he was staying in is bombed.
Abu Saif has authored six fictional books and previously released a war journal, “The Drone Eats With Me,” documenting the 2014 conflict in Gaza that lasted for 50 days and claimed the lives of 2,251 Palestinians. Excerpts from his most recent diaries have been featured in the Guardian and other media sources.
Comma Press said: “The accounts cover everything from first-hand reports of shockingly graphic rescue efforts – many involving close relatives or fellow journalists and writers – to living in UN shelters in schools, to being displaced multiple times, struggling to find food and maintain contact with the outside world, to the decision to leave his father in the north for his own son’s safety, as well as living for over a month in a tent, an impromptu refugee camp in a UN storage facility near Rafah.”
The profits from book purchases will be donated to four charitable organizations in Palestine: Medical Aid for Palestinians, the Middle East Children’s Alliance, Afaq Shadida/New Horizons Children’s Centre (located in Nuseirat Refugee Camp), and Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign (providing emergency relief in Khan Younis).