Welcome to our new Education Program Interns, Inge and Claire!

Posted on August 29, 2014 |

Iingenge Oosterhoff

I am a Dutch MA student of North American Studies at Leiden University and very grateful for the opportunity to do this internship at VoW. Not only will I learn a great deal from the internship itself, but I also get to indulge in the Bay Area’s culture and weather. In my spare time I like to draw and do creative writing, and I very much enjoy doing yoga. If I’m brave enough I might pick up running here, but the hills here are very challenging for someone who grew up in the Netherlands, which is a completely flat country.

Claire Sorrensonhead shot

I’m a long-time admirer of Voice of Witness and a lover of stories. In fact, I spent my first year out of college writing a young adult fantasy novel, drawing inspiration from days spent biking around Oakland and working in a punky cheese shop (yes, there is such a thing). I’m always in search of new ways to tell stories that empower communities and inspire action, and I’m excited to be interning with an organization that does just that. I love Voice of Witness’ forthcoming collection, Palestine Speaks, especially this line from poet Riyam Kafri: “People here are born waiting…waiting to return to a home they still carry a key for in their hand and a memory in their heart, an image hidden in the folds of their dreams.”                                                                                                      


August Newsletter

Posted on August 20, 2014 |

Excerpt from Palestine Speaks in Guernica Magazine

We are excited to share an early excerpt from our next book release Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation that Guernica ran this month. READ IT HERE. To read more about Palestine Speaks and pre-order the book from Powell’s Books, click here. We also encourage you to pre-order copies through your local bookseller or request through your library.

Words of Praise for “Palestine Speaks” forthcoming in November 2014

Posted on August 19, 2014 |

The Voice of Witness staff has been so pleased to hear the encouraging reactions of early Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation readers—especially since those readers include George Saunders, Ben Ehrenreich, and Noam Chomsky. We’d like to share there reactions now and link to an excerpt from one of the narratives that Guernica published last week . . .

A stunning, essential, and heartbreaking book that puts a profoundly human face on the suffering of the Palestinian people. This should be required reading for anyone with an interest in the Middle East, which is to say: everyone.

Like all Voice of Witness books, Palestine Speaks, uses the grand old tools, presenting beautifully shaped narratives that evoke the reader’s empathy and help him see the connections between himself and the people narrating. The effect is magical and empowering–the reader feels a sense of connection and warmth, and is thus able to imagine positive outcomes. In other words, to read a Voice of Witness book is to feel one’s habitual sense of disconnection begin to fall away.” –George Saunders, author of The Tenth of December and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient

“Thirty years ago, Edward Said wrote of the systematic exclusion of Palestinian voices from American public discourse, of Palestinians being denied the ‘permission to narrate’ their own lives. Not nearly enough has changed, but Palestine Speaks–a collection of testimonials from Palestinians narrating their own experiences, their own suffering, their own choices–defies that interdiction. This is a rare and courageous book.” –Ben Ehrenreich, journalist and author of Ether and The Suitors

Palestine Speaks demonstrates that nothing is more eloquent than the voices of those who endure and try valiantly to survive. Nothing is more important for us than to listen to them carefully, to grasp their suffering, to learn from their testimonies about them and about ourselves, and to use this understanding to bring their tragedy to an end.” –Noam Chomsky, author and professor at MIT

To find our more, visit the book page here. We also encourage you to pre-order this title from Powell’s Books or your local bookseller.