Hymns of Temptation
In Hymns of Temptation, Rawia Abu Najma – a documentary producer who has not visited Jerusalem since the Six Day War of 1967 – obtains a special permit to return. Although she has come to sort out the affairs of an aged aunt, she secretly hopes to make a film about people's lives in the city. Through her aunt's memories and those of her friend, the wife of the custodian of the Holy Mosque, a forbidden and passionate love affair between her aunt and the priest Mitri al-Haddad comes to light. She also uncovers old disagreements between the Greek Orthodox Church, Muslims and Arab Christians in Jerusalem. Hymns of Temptation charts the social development of Jerusalem and the struggle of different peoples to control it, describing life from the period of the Ottomans and the British Mandate at the end of the 19th century to after the Israeli occupation. It is a novel of people living through times of sweeping moral, political and social change.