Vanished is a fictional story set against the political unrest in Palestine, following a young boy trying to find his father. The deeper he delves into his father’s mysterious disappearance, the more he finds himself forced to make terrible choices, testing his loyalty to his country and his family.
The book is also about friendship born out of difficult circumstances, presented here through the character of Ahmed who risks his life to help his friend in the quest to find his father.Omar’s journey is fictional; however, it describes real life in Palestine’s Gaza Strip between 1981 and 2011. This period witnessed three major events that have shaped the current situation – the first Intifada, the Oslo Accords and the second Intifada.
While politics provide an important background to the story, the novel does not aim to put forth any political arguments. Instead, it sheds light on what it is like for two young boys to lead an ordinary life in an extraordinary place often described as ‘hell on earth.’
Ahmed Masoud is a writer and director who grew up in Palestine and moved to the UK in 2002. His credits include Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea (London and Edinburgh 2009), Escape from Gaza (BBC Radio 4, 2011), Walaa, Loyalty (London 2014, funded by Arts Council England).
Ahmed is the founder of Al Zaytouna Dance Theatre (2005) where he wrote and directed several productions in London, with subsequent European Tours. After finishing his PhD research, Ahmed published many journals and articles including a chapter in Britain and the Muslim World: A historical Perspective (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011).
An earlier version of Vanished won the Muslim Writers Awards (London 2011 supported by Penguin Books).