Strangers in the House: Coming of Age in Occupied Palestine

By Raja Shehadeh

"This isn't a political book," Anthony Lewis asserts in his foreword to this revealing memoir of a father-son dating set opposed to the backdrop of greater than thirty years of lifestyles less than army profession. "Yet in 100 alternative ways it truly is political. . . . Shehadeh shatters the stereotype many americans have of Palestinians."

Three years after his family members used to be pushed from town of Jaffa in 1948, Raja Shehadeh used to be born in Ramallah. His early adolescence used to be marked by way of his family's feel of loss and impermanence, vividly evoked via the glittering lighting "on the opposite aspect of the hill." He witnessed the various arrests of his father, Aziz, who, in 1967, used to be the 1st Palestinian to recommend a calm, two-state resolution for the Israeli-Palestinian clash. He expected that if peace weren't completed, what remained of the Palestinian place of birth will be taken away little by little. Ostracized by way of his fellow Arabs and disappointed via the failure of both sides to acknowledge his prophetic imaginative and prescient, Aziz retreated from politics. He used to be murdered in 1985.

The first memoir of its type by means of a Palestinian dwelling within the occupied territories, Strangers within the House bargains a relocating description of way of life in case you have selected to stay on their land. it's also the kin drama of a tough dating among an idealistic son and his politically lively father, complex by means of the arbitrary humiliation of the "occupier's law."

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I spoke back. “’You imagine you're too shrewdpermanent for us,’ they acknowledged, ‘we shall see who can have his manner on the finish. ’ They dragged me to a hall the place different prisoners have been handcuffed and hung at the hands to a peg within the wall with a rough pungent burlap bag put over their heads. I joined their line and have become one other discomfort physique denied gentle and fresh air, involved in simple terms with the excruciating soreness in my limbs. At one element I known as the defend and requested to exploit the bathroom. I acquired no reaction. ultimately i couldn't regulate my kidneys and the urine trickled down my soiled trousers making me stink. while it splashed at the ground i used to be slapped and cursed and known as a dirty animal. ” At this element Khalid became to me and requested: “How lengthy have I been on the Tegart? ” “Eighteen days,” I stated. “It sounds like months. After the 1st week I misplaced count number. I had proposal i used to be in for months. yet you are saying it’s simply been eighteen days? ” “Have you signed any papers? ” I requested. “They introduced me a confession in Hebrew to signal, yet I refused to signal it. It used to be then that they introduced me Barzali. It used to be he who subjected me to the worst beating on my face. He tore the outside of my cheeks. are you able to see it? ” i may see a scar. however it might have been from an outdated wound. I knew they wouldn't have enable me see my customer whereas any signal which could end up torture used to be nonetheless obtrusive. After listening to Khalid’s tale, I felt awkward approximately advising him to not signal any confession below torture. might I be capable to face up to the temptation to signal something to finish such a trial if I have been in Khalid’s position, realizing as I did that any confession could turn into the foundation for an indictment? nonetheless, I felt it used to be my accountability to inform him this, and he obtained my suggestion and not using a sneer. yet i realized that he desired to inform me anything that he came across tough to assert. I placed my head with regards to his in order that he might whisper, yet all he acknowledged was once: “How is my mom protecting? ” This i used to be capable of convenience him approximately. another way it's not that i am yes i used to be of a lot support to my buyer. He was once dwelling and harsh fact and thus far had now not been damaged. I questioned how even more beating these bony cheeks might take prior to melancholy and soreness could holiday his unravel. yet i used to be decided to do my top to aid him. After my interview I walked round to the northern front of the Tegart and into the workplace of the army prosecutor to ascertain my client’s dossier. i discovered that he had already been indicted. This was once why i used to be allowed to determine him. I additionally present in the dossier a confession written in his personal handwriting and discovered that this used to be what he had came upon so tricky to assert. I quick learn the confession and copied it in complete. My first overview was once that there has been no longer sufficient proof in it to aid an indictment. Khalid have been shrewdpermanent adequate to stay imprecise and keep away from giving his interrogators any self-incriminating proof. This raised my spirits and made me think that i may in all probability win this situation, even ahead of an army court docket. I arrived early at the day of the trial. It was once a chilly damp day in February and a chilly wind swept over the excessive hill, chilling us to the bone.

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