Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Odeh Bisharat  \ 

The Streets of Zatunia [Hebrew version: Odeh Bisharat & Moshe Ron]

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat's novel describes the goings-on in a small Arab-Israeli town during an election campaign for head of the local council. Khaled al-Mosli, a modest schoolteacher, succumbs to a relative`s suggestion that he run as a representative of their clan. Led by Ahmed al-Hidak, a local mover and shaker, al-Mosli`s improvised campaign staff go about inventing him a past of ridiculous bravery and leadership that will turn the simple, a-political family man into a charismatic political candidate. They also invent him a suitable election platform. And he is soon swept up into a tornado that entwines the town of Zatunia with the political, social and cultural realities of the Arab citizens of Israel. As the campaign gathers steam and subplots, tensions and conflicts abound in the town—leadership struggles; love stories; political brawls within and between extended families, and with leftwing women`s movements; intergenerational struggles seen as progressivism versus conservatism; Arab town and Jewish city; gender struggles—a demand for sexual equality between men and women, revealing hypocrisy and discrimination; quarrels between al-Mosli and his wife, a murder mystery, and more.

The strength of the book is its loving yet sharp grasp of the arab society.


A true work of art, critical of local politics in Arab communities. A fascinating satire about Arab society that is not tainted by Orientalism.

A charming first novel... extremely funny, flowing, superrealistic with a dash of satire. It becomes the genuine voice of Arab life in Israel.
Yedioth Ahronoth

Excellent portrayal of the unique village atmosphere. Bisharat gives us a brave and sober view of Israeli-Arab culture. Wonderful humor in his satirical, sarcastic writing.
Time Out

Partial English translation available (for publishers only).

Bisharat -The Streets of Zatunia
Title The Streets of Zatunia
Author’s Last Name Bisharat
Author's First Name Odeh
Language(s) Hebrew, Arabic, Finnish
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2009
No. Pages 255 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Chutzot Zatunia
Representation Represented by ITHL


Finnish: Helsinki, Into, 2015
Congratulations to Barabara Harshav for the 2018 PEN Medal for Translation!
The prize is given to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of their work. Barbara Harshav has been translating works from French, German, Hebrew and Yiddish for over twenty years and has currently published over forty books of translation. Among the many Hebrew authors she has translated: Yoram Kaniuk, Agnon, Yehudit Hendel, Yehuda Amichai and many more.
The Ministry of Culture and Sport announced the names of the winners of the Arik Einstein Veterans Artists Prize.
A prize of 50,000 NIS was given to each of the 21 artists who worked and are still working to promote Israeli culture in various fields -Music, dance, theater, plastic arts, cinema and literature. In the literature category the winners were Ronny Someck, Jacob Buchan and Shlomit Cohen-Assif. Also, Anat Masiach is among the recipient of the prize for debut literary works. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Ronit Matalon, the recipient of the 2017 Brenner prize for her book 'And the Bride Closed the Door". And, congratulations to Amir ziv, the recipent of the first ever Brenner prize for debut novels.
Ronit Matalon's book tells the story of Margie, a young bride, who shuts herself up in her mother's bedroom and declares that she won’t get married. Her family gathers at the locked door, not knowing what to do. Amir Ziv tells a story that begins as an apparently routine correspondence between a prying citizen, secretly in love with his neighbor, and a conscientious municipal clerk, and developes into an uncovering of a great underlying drama.
The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop April 29 to May 5, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: Sunday, April 29, 2018 until Saturday, May 5, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award! The books on the longlist are selected by 400 libraries worldwide. Titles are nominated on the basis of ‘high literary merit’ as determined by the nominating library.
Yitzchak Mayer's personal website goes live
English edition of Yitzchak Mayer's amazing "Silent Letter" is about to come out with Mosaic Press. Learn more about the author's incredible life story on his brand new website.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!