Arab Today, arab today arabamerican novelist fights for justice in palestine
Last Updated : GMT 03:32:11
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Arab-American novelist fights for justice in Palestine

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Arab-American novelist fights for justice in Palestine

Abu Dhabi - Arabstoday

As the adhan echoed around Jerusalem\'s ancient hills, dotted with olive groves and the modern concrete sprawl of the Israeli occupation, Susan Abulhawa began to sob. It had taken her 19 years to return to her homeland from the US; a period marked by angst, hardship and a yearning to belong, and it was there, listening to the echo of her childhood on the slopes of the Mount of Olives and cradling the young daughter who had finally given her purpose, that Abulhawa set her life on its indeterminable course. That path of political activism, of vocally opposing Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory and campaigning to provide playgrounds for Palestinian children has earned her a lot of enemies and unleashed a torrent of hate mail in the US - but, she says, it was impossible to turn back after that first visit as an adult. \"It reawakened me in a lot of ways,\" she says. \"That sound of something that is inside me, something that I am - when I heard the adhan for the first time and realised how much I\'d missed it, I broke down in tears.\" That awakening manifested itself in Mornings in Jenin, a poignant, lyrical tale tracing four generations of the Abulheja family as they suffer loss after loss - first, with the kidnapping of their son Ismael in the 1948 Naqba by an Israeli soldier and then through their violent expulsion from their village near Haifa. Through successive horrors inflicted during the 1967 war, the siege of Lebanon and slaughters in Jenin, Sabra and Shatila, the devastation and agonies wreaked on ordinary Palestinians are depicted through the struggles of the book\'s protagonist Amal, whose brother Ismael is raised as the Arab-hating David. The 2010 novel, which won critical acclaim, has just been translated into Arabic for the first time by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing. That has particular resonance for Abulhawa, now 41, as it was the language in which she first expressed herself through her writing before suppressing her Arab identity in a bid to fit in when, like Amal, she began a new life in the United States as a teenager. \"I did not want to be Arab,\" says the author, in Abu Dhabi earlier this month for the annual book fair. \"I was ashamed and embarrassed and hated my stupid last name that no one could pronounce.\" Softly spoken and immaculately dressed, she is as quietly reflective and as elegantly understated as her prose. Her parents, who were born in Jebel al Tur, were refugees of the 1967 war. Her father was expelled at gunpoint; her mother, who was studying in Germany at the time, was unable to return and the couple reunited in a camp in Jordan before moving to Kuwait, where Abulhawa was born in 1970. Her parents did not stay together long, nor were they interested in raising her. Instead, she was taken to the US by an uncle and lived there until she was five. \"Their absence was an influence,\" she says. \"It is essentially a huge theme in my life because I was so unrooted.\" Her younger years were spent being passed between various family members in Kuwait and Jordan; at 10, she was taken to Jerusalem but ended up in an orphanage. Looking back, she says they were some of the happiest years of her life, tinged with memories of verdant mountains and awe-inspiring Arab architecture despite the near-Dickensian conditions of everyday life. \"I have fond memories of that time but as an adult, I can look back and be horrified,\" she says. \"We had cockroaches in our food, there was no heat in the winter and we would wet the bed because we were too cold to get up.\"

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today arabamerican novelist fights for justice in palestine Arab Today, arab today arabamerican novelist fights for justice in palestine

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today 17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016

GMT 00:47 2017 Monday ,27 February

17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 03:52 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars
View News in Arabic - Culture: بأقلامهم
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 01:04 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Nokia 3310 is back — and so is 'Snake'

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday