THE PARACHUTE PARADOX — Decolonizing The Imagination Softcover | Hardcover | Kindle | Ebook | A Memoir. Winner of the Eric Hoffer & Nautilus Book Awards
First Published by Kerber Verlag | English | Germany
THE PARACHUTE PARADOX
"For Steve Sabella, the occupation attaches each Palestinian to an Israeli, as if in a tandem jump. The Israeli is always in control, placing the Palestinian under threat in a never-ending hostage situation. Sabella has two options: either to surrender or take a leap of faith. Sabella’s new book, The Parachute Paradox, is a memoir telling the life story of the artist born in Jerusalem’s Old City and raised under Israeli Occupation. After living through both intifadas, being kidnapped in Gaza, and learning to navigate different cultures, he feels in exile at home. Blurring fact and fiction, love and loss, the memoir traces one man’s arduous search for liberation from within, through a confrontation with the colonized imagination."
available in its second edition
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, London
"The Parachute Paradox offers narrative storytelling of the life of the Jerusalemite artist and his experiences under Israeli occupation. It proposes a subject that is unprecedented in Palestinian literature: the liberation of the self and the homeland through the liberation of the imagination."
The US Review of Books
Eric Hoffer Award Winner Announcement
The Parachute Paradox, Steve Sabella, Kerber Verlag – With a clever and intriguing cover, this book eagerly invites the reader to explore its contents. Perhaps the fact that the author is an accomplished artist and photographer explains the volume’s elegant appearance. The book’s content isn’t any less appealing. We learn the story of a Christian boy growing up among Arabs in Israeli-occupied Palestine, drowning in the toxic national and religious ideology that surrounds him. We later discover a young man who’s freedom does not exist except as an expression of his art, and as an endless love for the girl of his dreams. We finally encounter a mature, conflicted man pursuing his career in exile and using art as the vehicle of his liberation.
This memoir offers a glimpse into the perpetual Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of an innocent bystander, who struggles to survive and who learns to live free, if only in his mind. Meanwhile, the Palestinian and the Israeli existence continues to be linked like the parachute jumper and his trainer, who descend in a dangerous tandem toward an insecure future.
Read the first pages from
The Parachute Paradox
When I got home, I raced against time to pack and get to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. I was exhausted, and dreaded the usual three hours of questioning and interrogation by Israeli airport security.
Shalom, meh eyfo ata?
Hello, where are you from?
In a Hebrew accent, while gargling the R in Yerushalayim, I said,
Ani meh Yerushalayim.
I come from Jerusalem.
Where exactly do you come from?
If I answered with “East Jerusalem,” it would be assumed I was an Arab. And if I answered with “West Jerusalem,” they would suspect I was Jewish. I replied,
The Old City.
She checked my passport, but my place of origin was still not clear to her. She asked me for my father’s name,
What is the origin of the name Sabella?
Do you celebrate Hanukkah?
Do you celebrate Christmas?
She was hesitant to ask if I was an Arab or Palestinian Arab. To speed things up, I told her I came from Jerusalem. The Arab one. All I wanted was to board the plane and close my eyes.
What is your occupation?
I also work as a photographer for the UN.
I showed her my press card.
Where were you before you arrived at the airport?
I couldn’t tell her I had just been kidnapped in Gaza. She would consider it a security threat and definitely not allow me to board the plane.
The National UAE
"The number of books about Israel and Palestine published every year can feel oppressive to the average reader. On rare occasions, an original narrative of the conflict, imbued with honesty and sensitivity, is published."
Rabbi Yehuda Sarna | New York
"Thrilling, challenging, inspiring, thoughtful.The Parachute Paradox is part romance, part thriller, part political analysis. It is thoroughly redemptive and frustrating at the same time. It embraces the reality of a journey of identity and a path to internal peace. Any interested party in the Arab-Israeli conflict must read this firsthand account. In it, Steve tracks all the harmful pitfalls of stereotypes and gives the reader a taste of the kind of spiritual vision necessary to take us beyond the boxes that entrap us."
Professor of History of Art | Beirut
"Sabella writes not only as a novelist but also as a choreographer, dancing with words and images. He infuses this captivating book with exceptional cinematographic energy, artistry, and uniqueness in conveying the scene. In short, these are cinematographic pages par excellence."
Moors Magazine | The Netherlands
"The Parachute Paradox is perhaps the most impressive book I have ever read on the Palestinian-Jewish conflict. A good book to read and to go through gently, piece by piece."
"A thought-provoking, compelling and beautifully crafted memoir. From the brilliant metaphor in the title to the last page, this book is an inspirational work of art."
"The Parachute Paradox is as much a love story as it is a political testimony."
"Steve Sabella takes the entire world for an imagination within the imagination—in alliance with 13th century mystics who develop this vision in order to develop their characteristic poetry and art."
The Palestine Chronicle
"A must-read for the Palestinian perspective. Thankfully, this memoir is a journey that ends with an epiphany."
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Find The Parachute Paradox in Major Bookstores Including:
Book launch at the Institute for Critical Inquiry ICI Berlin
Institute for Critical Inquiry ICI Berlin with Almút Sh. Bruckstein, founder of Taswir Projects and Alya Sebti, Director of ifa-Galerie Berlin.
SOAS University of London with Dr Siba Aldabbagh and Prof. Wen-Chin Ouyang (video included).
Al-Serkal Avenue in Dubai with Rebecca Proctor.
This is the first version and first edition of The Parachute Paradox as published by Kerber Verlag in 2016. Steve Sabella Studio is releasing the few remaining books in his studio as collectable items. Even though the second edition features the same stories, the language is different, with more melody. Find out about the second edition here.
Double hardcover linen-bound
"With a clever and intriguing cover, this book eagerly invites the reader to explore its contents. Perhaps the fact that the author is an accomplished artist and photographer explains the volume’s elegant appearance." The US Review of Books | Eric Hoffer Award Winner Announcement