REFLECTIONS BY FOREIGNERS WHO HAVE BEEN TRANSFORMED BY PALESTINE
I Found Myself in Palestine is a collection of over twenty insightful and emotionally raw reflections about the experience of being a foreigner in Palestine.
Contributors come from the United States, South Africa, Norway, Japan, Sudan, Bolivia, Germany, Chile and more. They are neither journalists nor politicians, but rather “ordinary people” who found themselves deeply involved with Palestine through marriage, work or by chance. While the context is Palestine, the focus of the essays is the writers’ own growth and transformation as a result of their long engagement with the Palestinian people.
Sometimes funny and sometimes sad, the collection provides a new and unique window into social, familial, emotional and political dynamics through the eyes of committed and caring people who found themselves part of the global Palestinian community.
Contributors include: Pam Bailey, Mariam Barghouti, Thimna Bunte, Clio Chaveneau, Jonathan Cook, Corina Dagher, Helene Furani, Fatima Gabru, Neta Golan, Nadia Hasan, Donn Hutchison, Didi Kanaaneh, Andrew Karney, Maria Khoury, Mari Martens, Loren McGrail, Cody O'Rourke, Carolyn Quffa, Rina Rosenberg, Marty Rosenbluth, Ann Saba, Samira Safadi, Zeena Salman, Steve, Sosebee, Saul Takahashi, and Trees Zbidat-Kosterman
"An engrossing anthology that attempts to see past the pain and bloodshed into the soul of the Palestinian people ' A diverse collection of authors with a shared connection to Palestine meditate on why their relationship to the land and its people endures. Whether in Gaza, Ramallah, or any other city or territory in Palestine, the writers Murad brings together in this often moving compendium of culture and history are viewed by the Palestinian people living there as ??ajnabi'??an alien' or ??a person not belonging to a particular place or group.' For some, their invitation to Palestine and its people came via marriage; others arrived in pursuit of a need to become a positive force in the world. What each found in this tortured part of the Middle East is a magnetic dichotomy of openness and tradition, a place where transplants from seemingly anywhere may become woven into the fabric of local life, even if they are never fully assimilated. Above all, it may be Palestine's deep and abiding wellspring of familial love and interconnectedness that holds each contributor fast. As Carolyn Agner Quffa, who arrived in Ramallah in 1985 with her Palestinian husband, writes, ??one dominant trait that I hold in high esteem is the value placed on family. Children, in particular, are cherished as a pure joy. Children are a family endeavor, and everyone helps and takes an interest.' While seemingly averse to dwelling too much on the dark realities of Israeli occupation for fear that such an approach might define the Palestinian identity being celebrated, those realities cannot be ignored. Some of the other topics include ??Learning to Pray,' ??A Very High Tolerance for Frustration,' ??The Clothes They Wear,' and ??Trying To Be a Good Dad in a Complicated Neighborhood.'??—Kirkus Reviews
Mabrouk to Nora Lester Murad and all the contributors to this courageous volume-I Found Myself in Palestine pushes our understandings of solidarity as inextricably linked to radical love, and sheds light on the many incommensurabilities, like the opposite banks of a river, that may mark the limits of our raced/classed/gendered relationships in struggle and across colonial borders-yet can never hold the vastness of our love and continual quest for justice in Palestine and beyond.— - Devin G. Atallah, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Racial/Cultural Focus, Psychology Department, University of Massachusetts Boston
Nora Lester Murad, PhD, is a writer and co-author of Rest in My Shade: A Poem about Roots (Interlink Books, 2018). She raised her three daughters in Palestine. She co-founded Dalia Association, Palestine’s community foundation, and founded Aid Watch Palestine, a community-driven aid accountability initiative. She now lives in Boston.