Nayrouz Qarmout is a journalist, author and women’s rights campaigner. Born in Yarmouk Refugee Camp, Damascus, in 1984, as a Palestinian refugee, she was ‘returned’ to the Gaza Strip at the age of 11 as part of the 1994 Oslo Peace Accord, where she now lives. She used to work in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, raising awareness of gender issues and promoting the political and economic role of women in policy, law, and the media. She has won a number of prizes including the English Pen Award and the Creative Women’s Award for her debut collection The Sea Cloak.
The stories in Nayrouz’s collection provide a local perspective on a global story. Drawing on her own life in Gaza, Qarmout weaves the personal with the political to create a compelling portrait of what it means to be a woman in Palestine today. Whether following orphaned children through shattered housing blocks and rubble, or mapping the tensions between different generations of Gazan refugees, The Sea Cloak offers rare insights into one of the most talked about, but least understood cities in the Middle East.
A collection of 14 stories drawn from personal experiences of growing up in a Syrian refugee camp.
Ali Smith says about The Sea Cloak: ‘All the arts are close to us because they allow us to recontextualise, to understand where we are, what we are, who we are. The Sea Cloak re-contextualises things so we really understand the world from the point of view we always knew was there.’