Sayed Kashua was born in Tira in the Triangle region of Israel. In 1990, he was accepted to a prestigious boarding school in Jerusalem - Israel Arts and Science Academy. He studied sociology and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Kashua was a resident of Beit Safafa before moving to a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem with his wife and children.
Kashua writes satirical columns in Hebrew for Haaretz newspaper and a local Jerusalem weekly, HaIr. In a humorous, tongue-in-cheek style, Kashua addresses the problems faced by Arabs in Israel, caught between two worlds.
Avoda Aravit, or in English, Arab Labor, is a satirical sitcom written by Kashua and aired on Israel's Channel 2. A large part of the dialogue is in Arabic with Hebrew subtitles. The show is about a young Arab couple, Amjad (Norman Issa) and Bushra (Clara Khoury), and their young daughter, who live in an Arab village on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Amjad is a journalist working for a Hebrew newspaper (much like Haaretz) who desperately seeks to assimilate into the prevailing Israeli Jewish cultural milieu with mixed and hilarious results. The show holds a mirror up to the racism and ignorance on both sides of the ethnic divide and has been compared with All in the Family.
Awards and prizes
- In 2004, Kashua won the Prime Minister's prize for literature.
- Arab Labor won the Award for Best Television Series at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
- Kashua won the 2011 Bernstein Prize for his novel Second Person Singular.
- Dancing Arabs (2002)
- Let it be Morning (2006)
- Second Person Singular (2010) (also published as Exposure (2013))
A 2009 documentary film produced by Dorit Zimbalist, Sayed Kashua — Forever Scared, documents the upheavals and events that changed Kashua's life over a period of seven years.
- Kershner, Isabel (2008-01-07). "Straddling Cultures, Irreverently, in Life and Art — New York Times". Israel: Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- Atlantic Books: Sayed Kashua
- "Boston Review — lalami.php". Bostonreview.net. Retrieved 2011-07-19.[dead link]
- Sayed Kashua[dead link] on The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature website
- "Award winners". webcache.googleusercontent.com.[dead link]
- פרס ברנשטיין לסייד קשוע [The Bernstein Prize to Sayed Kashua] (in Hebrew), ישראל היום, July 19, 2011, p. 31
- Pulled through from fear Sigrid Brinkmann, Germany Radio. 2005-06-21
- Sayed Qashu; Miriam Shlesinger (9 April 2004). Dancing Arabs. Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-8021-4126-2. Retrieved 19 July 2011.