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I just heard the author interviewed on Dispatches. Sounds fascinating:
The narrative of Talking Hands takes readers to a place like nowhere else on earth: the village of Al-Sayyid (pronounced es-SAYY-id), a remote Bedouin community in Israel where everyone "speaks” sign language. There, as the result of an unusually high incidence of hereditary deafness, an indigenous sign language has sprung up entirely on its own, used by deaf and hearing villagers alike. At every hour of the day, in nearly every house in the village, in the fields and in the mosque, there are people talking in sign. A veritable island of the deaf, Al-Sayyid is a place that few outsiders have ever seen, and that no journalist has ever before reported on.
From the [url=http://www.talkinghandsbook.com/thebook.html]author's website[/url].