Apart from the iconoclastic ideology of some Muslim scholars and mobs which led to many statues being destroyed or defaced, there was another problem with statues and that was that they might become the habitations of demons.

This is a story about a boy called Hamid. One might argue that it starts fifty-six years before he was born, during the Nakba of 1948 – in Arabic ‘the catastrophe’.

On the first pages, Khoury describes how he met Adam Dannoun, the author-protagonist of his book. He admits his confusion: was Adam an Israeli Jew, who had acquired a perfect Palestinian dialect, or a Palestinian who had mastered flawless Hebrew?