Joanna Kakissis

Abbad Yahya is used to controversy. For the last five years, the young Palestinian novelist has been writing books that have been criticized for including sex and politically unpopular opinions.

Yahya, who's 28, expected similar complaints about his fourth novel, Crime in Ramallah, published in Arabic late last year, which chronicles the lives of three young men affected by a woman's murder in the city where the Palestinian Authority has its headquarters.

The "most beautiful candidate in Serbia" (self-proclaimed) arrives in the sleepy town of Kovavica at midday, a loudspeaker perched atop his aging car.

He's tall, blue-eyed and wearing his signature white suit, tie and shoes, his long hair in a man-bun.

His name is Ljubisa Beli Preletacevic, or just Beli for short. It means "the guy in white who switches his beliefs for political gain," says the candidate himself.

"I'm every bad politician rolled up into one young, strong man," he declares.

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And we have a new entry on the list of the world's political dramas. In this case, it's also a comedy. Joanna Kakissis reports on the upcoming presidential election in Serbia.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Foreign language spoken).

Filmmaker Maysaloun Hamoud does not like being typecast.

"The Israelis say, you don't look Arab or Palestinian," she says, rolling her eyes. "Huh? If I wear a dress or outfit that [doesn't look] religious, I cannot be a Palestinian? I have to be, like, exactly how you design me?"

Hamoud is 35, wearing a long skirt, tank top and rose-tinted sunglasses. The title of her acclaimed and controversial film Bar Bahar — or In Between in English — is tattooed in Arabic and English on her right forearm.

Growing up in the West Bank, Amjad Hasan has watched his leaders trying to negotiate a so-called two-state solution, or a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

"The talks seemed to go on and on," says the 22-year-old electrical engineering student, who studies at Birzeit University outside the Palestinian city of Ramallah. "And nothing happened."

The death knell, Hasan says, came after President Donald Trump hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington this week.

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President Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday that he is not committed to a state for the Palestinians. Trump said he isn't opposed either. NPR's Joanna Kakissis has been listening to reaction in Jerusalem.

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Jabar Mousa was 15 when he first met the Jewish settlers who would move near Dura el-Qare, his Palestinian village in the central West Bank.

It was 1977, and he and two friends were walking on a nearby hill. That's where they saw a group of young men in yarmulkes.

"We stop and asked these young men, who are you?" says Mousa, now 56. "And they said, 'We are students of the yeshiva. We study in a school in Beit El.'"

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Early in the morning of March 24, 2016, a 45-year-old Palestinian shoemaker named Imad Abu Shamsiyeh was having coffee with his wife, Fayzia, at their home in the West Bank city of Hebron.

They heard shots being fired outside. Instead of seeking cover, they grabbed Abi Shamsiyeh's video camera and ran to the roof of their house.

He immediately started filming, zooming on the street below.

"I saw someone lying on the ground," Abu Shamsiyeh says. "I wasn't sure if he was Israeli or Palestinian. Blood was gushing from him."

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Zlota Kurka, or Golden Hen, sits in a central Warsaw neighborhood surrounded by telecom offices and wine bars. Inside, there's a window-sized menu offering Polish-style soups, eggs, dumplings, cabbage and potatoes, all cooked by women in flowered aprons and schoolteacher glasses.

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