The Shroud Maker by Ahmed Masoud
Date(s) - 03/16/2023 - 04/08/2023
International Voices Project (IVP)
What’s the best business one can establish in Gaza? Hajja Souad, an 80-year old woman living in El Shujaia Neighbourhood, has the right idea. She’s survived decades of wars, deportation and oppression through making and selling shrouds for the dead, profiting from the continuous Israeli attacks.
The 51-day Israeli war on Gaza in summer 2014 proves highly lucrative for Hajja Souad– until her past returns to haunt her, forcing her to make a momentous decision. Her deliberations take us on a lifetime’s journey, telling a harrowing story of courage, love, escape and disappointment.
Leaving her village of Aqqur near Jerusalem as a young girl, Hajja Souad entered the service of the British High Commissioner in the late 1940s and grew up as an adopted daughter to his wife, who taught her English manners and elocution. But in the chaos of the British withdrawal, as the Union Jack is drawn down from the port of Haifa, Hajja was left alone to her fate in the abandoned mansion.
Loosely based on a real life character still living in Gaza, The Shroud Maker is a dark comedy that tells the story of 80 year old Hajja Souad, who makes and sells shrouds for the dead in the Shujaia neighborhood in Palestine. Weaving comic fantasy and satire with true stories told first hand to the writer, The Shroud Maker offers a vivid portrait of Palestinian life in Gaza.