“The last kiss of Bethlehem”
Palestinian author Osama Al-Ayasa says he has tried to depict the city of Bethlehem, with its deep historical roots in his new novel “The last kiss of Bethlehem.” In an interview with Arabstoday, Al-Ayasa has revealed that
putting together the 300-page novel required plenty of field research. "I don’t think real research, journalism and literature can be done without field research. And that’s why I depended on it in my recent novel.”
The plot of “The last kiss of Bethlehem” revolves around Raid Al-Hirdan, born in Bethlehem and serving a 20-year sentence in Israeli occupation prisons. The story depicts his return home and the huge political and social changes that occurred in his absence.
Al-Ayasa depicted the city of Bethlehem, as never before. He says it is the first novel about the besieged city after it was separated of her twin city, Jerusalem. He also introduced a bold picture of clerics and the landmarks of the city, notably “Church of the Nativity,” considered the birthplace of Jesus.
Through a beautiful narrative and smooth language, he explored the hidden secrets of the most famous city in the world. "I used history, geography, mythology, folklore and legends, as I think writing is a very serious job. I do my best in any new book and try to take adventures approach toward content and style, as I believe both context and style have the same importance,” he added.
The front cover of the novel features a mask from the Bronze Age found in the Negev desert in Palestine.