A teacher, a scholar, a philosopher, and an eyewitness to history, Sari Nusseibeh is one of our most urgent and articulate authorities on the conflict in the Middle East. From his time teaching side by side with Israelis at the Hebrew University through his appointment by Yasir Arafat to administer the Arab Jerusalem, he has held fast to the principles of freedom and equality for all, and his story dramatizes the consequences of war, partition, and terrorism as few other books have done. This autobiography brings rare depth and compassion to the story of his country.
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Once upon a country... tells about more than what, today, we consider to be 'a country'. It also tells about its people, how they live, play, work, worship and love. It tells where they came from and what shaped them, and, with a tinge of nostalgia, it wonders where they'll go. This is not a nationalist treatise. Once upon a country... is a very personal narrative of one Palestinian's direct experience of the past fifty years or so, as well as a recounting of how he experiences being a part of his ancestry, history, culture, religion and even politics, keeping in mind that his views of what used to be his country are also informed by his living and studying in various western countries. It gives a general background into history and culture of an area (Ottoman Empire and its unravelling into the various factions battling each other and themselves) that is little known to Europeans of this age. Media attention usually is on the troubled countries (Lebanon, Iraq, Syria,...
This is a memoir written by a professor of philosophy who is also the current president of Al Quds university in East Jerusalem.
After getting through his father's history in the early chapters, University professor Sari Nusseibeh realizes the central problem between the Israeli and Palestinian coexistence: neither sides understanding of the other side. It takes him meeting Israeli students at college, and flying on an Israeli ariline, and teaching at Hebrew University before he begins to see the similarities between the two. And thats where he evolves his ideas about peace.
A central concept of his is that both sides are allies, NOT enemies. He even goes as far to say that the two are more like allies than the united states/israel and palestinians/arab states are allies.
Unfortunately as the occupation of the west bank and gaza continues throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s, he sees a different kind of arab majority emerging from the areas, that is bent...
This is a fantastic book detailing in wonderful prose the plight of the Palestinian people. In an effort to gain a more balanced perspective of the situation in Israel/Palestine, this book, as well as My Promised Land by Ari Shavit, was required reading for one of my classes in seminary. Both books together give a more complete picture of a very complex, difficult situation.My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
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