Tuesday, August 02, 2005

In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story…


Last week I’ve finished reading this stunning memoir of Dr. Ghada Karmi. Every time I try to write about it, I find myself speechless. I have no words good enough to express my feelings towards this book and its great writer: Dr. Ghada Karmi. A person you can’t but admire for the unusual honesty and outstanding style of narrative writing.

“In Search Of Fatima”, this amazing book is not only the story of the Karmi’s during the exodus of 1948, it’s not only an account of personal emotions and experiences, but also a historical record, a political register and a social reference.
This book is the kind that makes you wish it’ll never have a last page; the kind that draws your attention from the very first pages, if not from the cover itself, just like what happened in my case.
In the last few days of my visit to Jordan, I found that book on one of the shelves of a bookstore in Amman, the title “In Search Of Fatima: A Palestinian Story” was enough to attract me and I was tempted to buy it right away…something I could never ever regret, in fact this book is the best I’ve ever read so far!
Many would think I loved that book because it’s written by a Palestinian. I must admit that being written by a Palestinian was the magnet that drew me to it, because it’s not usual to find books written by Palestinians in comparison to the many Israeli books available, but why I loved it is a whole different story.
I loved it, because of the honesty of the Palestinian who wrote it, and because of all what that book stands for.
Reading through the pages I was overwhelmed by the fact that finally someone is writing about Palestine: the land, the people, the traditions, the food, the social activities…
I fell in love with Palestine all over again. Every page revived the few memories I have collected over the few visits I was able to make to my homeland and from what I’ve been told by my parents.
I was captured by the honesty of the writer sharing us her most secretive experiences and the details of her personal life and adventures.
I felt the pain of the dislocation and refuge every single Palestinian felt and is still feeling, the sense of belonging to wherever they are and where they come from, but not fitting into either,i.e. the lost identity...
I felt the bitterness of the never-ending accusations and claims that Palestine was never meant for us, and that Palestinians are nothing but evil terrorists who have no right in their own country…
I loved how Dr. Karmi explained that Palestinians don’t hate Jews, and wrote how they lived together in peace before the announcement of Israeli State, upon which Palestinians were expelled from their own homes and country to seek refuge in the neighbouring countries…
I loved how she criticized Arabs and the west, I loved everything about that book.
It must be said, that any Palestinian will find it extremely easy to relate to this book and the story it tells.

It’s a book that must be there in every Palestinian home, a book to be read by every Arab and every non-Arab to get a non-biased picture of what really happened in Palestine and understand what the Palestinian cause is all about.

Actually I think I became really attached to the writer that I was really angry when the book came to an end at a certain point in her life without being able to know what happened next. That proves only how good a writer she actually is…

Thank you Dr. Ghada Karmi, you can’t imagine how much this book meant to me, it’s a treasure to keep!

For reviews of the book and to order it online Click Here!