Sunday, May 29, 2011


NEW YORK (MMD Newswire) May 24, 2011 -- A spirit of revolution is sweeping the Middle East, yet the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains dangerously deadlocked. With the peace process on ice, it threatens to explode, either into a renewed cycle of violence or a mass non-violent movement. Yet most Americans know very little about the Palestinians beyond crude stereotypes of violence and victimhood.

Pamela Olson's timely new book, "Fast Times in Palestine" (ISBN 0615456243), endeavors to contextualize the modern Palestinian reality in an engaging, relatable way without demonizing or excluding Israelis. The author aims to blend elements of a travelogue, memoir and narrative journalism in order to ramp the average American reader up to a sophisticated, multifaceted understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Olson, a physics major ex-bartender from small-town Oklahoma, stumbled into the Holy Land in late 2003, adrift and clueless but curious. With dizzying speed, she found herself working as a journalist based in Ramallah and coordinating the foreign press for a Palestinian presidential candidate. She then found herself sharing a holiday dinner with a suicide bomber's family, tour-guiding Israeli friends around the West Bank, dating a Palestinian from a conservative Muslim village, being held at gunpoint and injured by a stun grenade and witnessing the 2005 Disengagement from inside the Gaza Strip.

The author seeks to offer a gripping narrative, refreshingly free of jargon and polemics that focuses not only on violence, terror and social and political upheavals, but also on the daily rounds of house parties, concerts, barbecues, weddings, jokes, harvests and romantic drama that happens in between. The author aims to illuminate three crucial years of Israeli-Palestinian history, from the death of Yasser Arafat to the Hamas election victory, and intends for its lessons to shed light on crucial issues throughout the Middle East.

"Everyone from Middle East experts to total neophytes will enjoy this fascinating journey of beauty and terror, hospitality and homicide, hard lessons, heartbreak and hope - a microcosmic view of an ageless human story with global implications," says Olson.

"Fast Times in Palestine" is available for sale online at and other channels.

About the Author:

Pamela Olson lived in Ramallah for two years, during which she served as head writer and editor for the Palestine Monitor and as the foreign press coordinator for Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi's 2005 presidential campaign. Her writing has appeared in CounterPunch, Israel's Occupation Magazine, The Stanford Magazine and other publications, and her blog is frequently cross-posted on Mondoweiss, The Palestine Note and other outlets. She has presented on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at Google Tech Talks, on the Stanford and Oklahoma University campuses and at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, D.C. She is active in peace and justice groups in New York City.


Pamela Olson


Phone: (202) 413-9570




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