What It Means to Be Palestinian: Stories of Palestinian Peoplehood.
What it means to be palestinian: stories of palestinian peoplehood.
DinaMatar. I.B. Tauris. [pounds sterling]54.50 xiv + 214 pages. ISBN
978-1-84885-363-8. As the author wisely points out, one tends to think
of Palestinians with reference either to Israel or to violence. This
book 'sets out to tell a personal history of the Palestinians, in
their own words, [and] to provide a more humanist understanding of what
it means to be Palestinian'. She reminds us that of ten million
Palestinians, half live in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and inside
Israel whilst the other half forms a diaspora across the world. To
compile thisbook--this 'narrative of narratives' -Miss Matar
talked to 80 Palestinians in their wretched camps, and in Israel, Syria,
Jordan and The Lebanon. She arranges the stories she has gathered in
chronological order, starting with the revolt against British forces in
1936 and ending with the 1993 Oslo Accord. Many of the stories included
here are part of the race's folklore but are little heard outside
the Palestinian world. The most abiding event was the 1948 attack by
Israeli soldiers when 531 villages were destroyed and eleven towns
suffered ethnic cleansing. Narratives are gathered into five chapters
which Dina Matar prefaces with a short historical background. They give
readers an insight found in no other book on the Palestinian people.
There is also a paperback edition, priced [pounds sterling]14.99.