Book Launch: A Day In The Life of Abed Salama with Abed Salama, Nathan Thrall, and Masha Gessen

October 4, 2023

In A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy, a new book by essayist and journalist Nathan Thrall, the struggle over Israel/Palestine is rendered at the human scale by way of the heart-wrenching story of an accident that killed Abed Salama’s five-year-old son. Situating the personal narrative in the context of structural forces, A Day in the Life of Abed Salama elucidates the daily injustices faced by the roughly 3.2 million Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and details the painful realities of life in the region. To celebrate the book’s publication, join Thrall and Salama in a conversation moderated by journalist Masha Gessen. Register here.

A special offer for Jewish Currents readers: For a limited time, if you purchase the book, you will receive a complimentary gift copy—with free shipping on both orders anywhere in the US. Take advantage of that offer by clicking here.

Co-presented by Center for Brooklyn History, BPL Presents, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and The New York Review of Books.

This is an in-person event located at the Center for Brooklyn History in Brooklyn Heights. The building is wheelchair-accessible. In an effort to care for everyone attending, please test for Covid-19 in advance of the event. Masks are welcome, but not required. If you are not feeling well, we encourage you to not attend.

For more information about the venue, and for accommodation requests, please email or reach out to the Center directly at 718-222-4411.

Nathan Thrall is the author of A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy and the critically acclaimed essay collection The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine. His reported features, analyses, and criticism have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, the London Review of Books, and The New York Review of Books. Thrall’s writing has been cited in the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, and Human Rights Council, as well as in reports by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories. His commentary is often featured in print and broadcast media, including the Associated Press, BBC, CNN, Democracy Now!, The Economist, Financial Times, The Guardian, The New York Times, PRI, Reuters, Time, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He spent a decade at the International Crisis Group, where he was director of the Arab-Israeli Project, and has taught at Bard College.

Abed Salama is a Palestinian living under Israeli rule in the enclave of Anata in greater Jerusalem, who lost his five-year-old son Milad in a harrowing school bus accident.

Masha Gessen is a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of 11 books of nonfiction, most recently Surviving Autocracy; The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction; The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy; and The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Gessen is the recipient of numerous awards, including Guggenheim, Andrew Carnegie, and Nieman Fellowships, Hitchens Prize, Overseas Press Club Award for Best Commentary, and an honorary doctorate from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. Born in Moscow, they have written about Russia, Ukraine, Putin, LGBT rights, and Donald Trump for the New York Review of Books and The New York Times and appeared as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and PBS. Famously, they were dismissed as the editor of the Russian popular-science magazine Vokrug sveta for refusing to send a reporter to observe Putin hang-gliding with Siberian cranes. Gessen is a Distinguished Professor at the Craig Newark School of Journalism at CUNY and a Distinguished visiting writer at Bard. They serve on the Board of Directors of Jewish Currents.

The Center for Brooklyn History was formed in 2020 by uniting Brooklyn Historical Society and the Brooklyn Public Library, combining materials collected over the past 157 years by BHS with BPL’s Brooklyn Collection and becoming the most expansive catalogue of Brooklyn history in the world. CBH is democratizing access to Brooklyn’s history and is dedicated to expanding and diversifying representation of the history of the borough by unifying resources and expertise, and broadening reach and impact.

BPL Presents is the Brooklyn Public Library’s curated cultural program, with arts and culture offerings including author talks, live performances, music, film and visual art exhibitions that explore the critical issues of our time in Brooklyn and beyond.

Human Rights Watch investigates and reports on abuses happening in all corners of the world. HRW is led by over 550 people of over 70 nationalities who are country experts, lawyers, journalists, and others who work to protect the most at risk, from vulnerable minorities and civilians in wartime, to refugees and children in need.

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 10 million people who take injustice personally, and are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.

The New York Review of Books has established itself, in Esquire’s words, as “the premier literary-intellectual magazine in the English language.” The project began during the New York publishing strike of 1963, when its founding editors decided to create a new kind of magazine—one in which the most interesting and qualified minds of our time would discuss current books and issues in depth.