Don’t Look Left now available in 13 different languages

Publishers to bring out Atef Abu Saif's Gaza War Diaries in Thirteen Different Languages, across Fourteen Territories

The war diaries of Atef Abu Saif - titled Don't Look Left: A Diary of Genocide - are to be published by a collective of 14 publishers around the world, in 13 different languages, even as the war continues.

Multiple publishing houses - including Comma Press (Britain & Commonwealth), Beacon Books (North American), Blackie Books (Spanish & Catalan), Angústúra (Icelandic), Noura Books (Indonesian), Chiheisha Publishing (Japanese), Rizolli/Società INformazione (Italian), Elefante (Portuguese), SecondThesis (Korean), Berria (Basque), Pinar Publications (Turkish), Jacana (South Africa) and several others about to confirm - have come together to simultaneously publish the day-by-day account of living in Gaza next month, with all proceeds going to three Palestinian charities (Medical Aid for Palestinians, the Middle East Children's Alliance, and Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Khan Younis Emergency Relief)).

The diaries offer a first-hand, day-by-day account of the invasion of Gaza since Oct 7 from the perspective of a Palestinian caught in The Strip. Atef Abu Saif - who previously edited Comma's Book of Gaza and is author of six novels and an earlier war diary covering the 51-day onslaught of 2014 (The Drone Eats with Me) - is originally from Jabalia Camp, north of Gaza City, but moved to the West Bank in 2019 where he became the PA Minister of Culture. He was visiting Gaza in early October with his 15-year-old son Yasser when the onslaught (following 7 October) began. These diaries - many of which were written as WhatsApp texts and voice-memos sent to his publisher in the UK - follow a man who came to Gaza as a government minister and who was quickly reduced to running through the streets looking for shelter, like so many other Gazans, after the hotel he was staying in was bombed. The accounts cover everything from first-hand reports of shockingly graphic rescue efforts - many involving close relatives or fellow journalists and writers - to living in UN shelters in schools, to being displaced multiple times, struggling to find food and maintain contact with the outside world, to the decision to leave his father in the north for his own son's safety, as well as living for over a month in a tent, an impromptu refugee camp in UN Stores facility near Rafah.

Over a dozen extracts from the diaries have already been serialised in New York Times, The Washington Post (twice), The Guardian (twice), (three times), The Nation (five times) as well as in other languages: Le Monde and L'Obs (France), Pangina 12 (Argentina), Berria (Basque Country), Der Speigel (Germany) and Corriere della Sera (Italy).

The UK edition was published in March with a foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist (and former Middle East correspondent for NYT), Chris Hedges.

Commenting on the project, Comma founder Ra Page noted, 'The corporate media's coverage of this genocide has been guilty of biased framing at best and outright repetition of propagandist lies at worst throughout. If we allow our understanding of world events to be corrupted and spun by craven, compliant journalism, we can never hope to understand these events, even those happening in real-time, before our very eyes. Atef's diaries give us a rare exit ramp from this state of ignorance.

Comma released an earlier version of the diaries on Boxing Day as an eBook only version, featuring the first 60 days of his experiences, while Atef was still living in a tent a Rafah. The final verson will cover the first 85 days of the genocide. Comma is also looking for other language publishers to come on board with the project also.


About Atef Abu Saif

Atef Abu Saif was born in Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in 1973. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Birzeit and a Master’s degree from the University of Bradford. He received a PhD in Political and Social Science from the European University Institute in Florence. He is the author of five novels: Shadows in the Memory (1997), The Tale of the Harvest Night (1999), Snowball (2000), The Salty Grape of Paradise (2003, 2006) and A Suspended Life (2014), which was shortlisted for the 2015 International Prize for Arab Fiction (IPAF). He has also published two collections of short stories – Everything is Normal (2004) and Still Life: Stories from Gaza Time (2013) – as well as several books on politics. He is a regular contributor to a number of Palestinian and Arabic newspapers and journals. In 2014 Atef edited The Book of Gaza, as part of Comma’s ‘Reading the City’ series, which featured ten short stories by ten contemporary authors from the Strip. In 2015 Atef was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arab Fiction, also known as the 'Arabic Man Booker'. In 2018 he also won the Katari Prize for Best Arabic Novel (young writers category). In 2015 he published his diaries of the 2014 war on Gaza: The Drone Eats with Me: A Gaza Diary (Comma Press), which was described by Molly Crabapple as ‘a modern classic of war literature’. In 2019, he relocated to the West Bank and became Minister of Culture for the PA. At the start of Israel's 2023 war on Gaza, Atef was visiting Gaza for a International Heritage Day event with his 15-year-old son, Yasser


Praise for Atef Abu Saif's previous war diary: The Drone Eats with Me (2015):

‘Witnessed, lived, and recorded page by page. A searing account of living through the 2014 bombardment of Gaza. We who report it can never capture the true scale of individual and collective suffering. As a Gaza resident, Atef Abu Saif's diary provides an insight no outsider could ever have achieved.’ – Jon Snow, Channel 4 News

'In this luminous account of Israel’s 2014 invasion of Gaza, Atef Abu Saif creates a literary equivalent to Goya’s Disasters of War. The Drone Eats with Me deserves to become a modern classic of war literature. But for all the surrealist absurdity of the horrors Abu Saif chronicles, the book pulses throughout with the sublime, mundane and ferocious love for life.' – Molly Crabapple, author of Drawing Blood

'The Drone Eats with Me is a devastating contemporary war journal. This is what war is like in the 21st century – the voice of a civilian in the onslaught of drone warfare, a voice we have never heard before.' – Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient and Divisadero


Examples of Serialisations of the Diaries

In English:

Washington Post - 30/10/23:

The Guardian - 13/11/2023:

The Nation - 16/11/23:

The Nation - 27/11/23:

Slate - 29/11/2023:

Slate - 30/11/2023:

New York Times - 2/12/2023:

Slate - 2/12/23:

The Guardian - 6/12/2023:

The Washington Post, 11/12/2023:

The Nation, 11/12/2023:

The Nation, 7/2/2024:

The Nation, 8/2/2024:

The Washington Post, 8/03/2024:

In French:

Le Monde:


In Basque:


In Spanish:


In Italian:

               Corriere della Sera: