On the Hills of God

June 1947 was the eve of the end of the world for eighteen-year-old Yousif Safi, for Yousif is a Palestinian. On the Hills of God describes the year-long journey of a boy becoming a man, while all that he has known crumbles to ashes. When we first encounter Yousif, he is filled with hopes for his education abroad to study law and with daydreams of his first love, the beautiful Salwa. As the future of Palestine looks bleak due to the pressure on the United Nations from the international Zionist movement, Yousif is compelled to think like a man. He is frustrated by his fellow Arabs’ inability to thwart the Zionist encroachment and by his own inability to prevent the impending marriage of Salwa to an older suitor chosen by her parents. As Palestinians face the imminent establishment of Israel, on May 15, 1948, Yousif resolves to face his own responsibilities of manhood. Despite the monumental odds that are against him, Yousif vows to win back both his loves—Salwa and Palestine—and create his world anew.