The Office of Intercultural Affairs recently hosted a conversation with Pamela J. Olson, author of “Fast Times of Palestine: A Love Affair with a Homeless Homeland” on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
The book was inspired by Olson’s experiences over the course of two years in Ramallah as head writer and editor for the Palestine Monitor and foreign press coordinator for Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi’s 2005 presidential campaign. The book depicts both the violence and trauma in the occupied territories, and the social aspects of life, such as parties and weddings.
“It is my hope that this conversation with Pamela Olson will help us as a community and as a nation to come to terms with and, ideally, understand a key chapter in the history of the Middle East,” said Alejandra Molina, director of the Office of Intercultural Affairs and assistant professor of Spanish.
Olson’s talk was held from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Wasey Room of the Scandling Campus Center. All were welcomed to attend.
Born and raised in a small-town in Oklahoma, Olson earned a B.S. in physics with a minor in political science from Stanford University. She has published stories and articles in CounterPunch, Electronic Intifada, Mondoweiss, Israel’s Occupation Magazine, and The Stanford Magazine. She also wrote an essay about disputed holy sites for the Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Olson has conducted research in Washington, D.C., for the Institute for Defense Analyses and the American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights, as well as internationally in China, Moscow, Siberia, Ramallah, and the Russian Far East.
Publishers Weekly called the book, “More than a travelogue or a polemic, the book is a coming-of-age story, as Olson discovers her voice by directly confronting the challenges of living in a state of institutionalized paradox… Engaging and easy to read, this is a fascinating memoir.”
The publication also named the book a Top 10 Travel Book of 2013.