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My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story Paperback – March 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745328814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745328812
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ramzy Baroud's sensitive, thoughtful, searching writing penetrates to the core of moral dilemmas that their intended audiences evade at their peril. Few are spared his perceptive eye, and only the morally callous will fail to respond to his pleas to look into the mirror honestly, to question comforting beliefs that protect us from facing our elementary responsibilities, and to act to remedy the terrible misery and injustice that he exposes to our view, as we surely can."  -- Noam Chomsky

About the Author

Ramzy Baroud is a syndicated columnist, veteran journalist and Editor-in-Chief of PalestineChronicle.com. He has appeared on numerous television programs including CNN International, BBC, ABC Australia, National Public Radio and Al-Jazeera. His previous books include Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion (2003) and The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto, 2006).

More About the Author

Palestinian-American journalist, author and former Al-Jazeera producer, Ramzy Baroud taught Mass Communication at Australia's Curtin University of Technology, and is Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle.

"Ramzy Baroud's sensitive, thoughtful, searching writing penetrates to the core of moral dilemmas that their intended audiences evade at their peril. Few are spared his perceptive eye, and only the morally callous will fail to respond to his pleas to look into the mirror honestly, to question comforting beliefs that protect us from facing our elementary responsibilities, and to act to remedy the terrible misery and injustice that he exposes to our view, as we surely can." -- Noam Chomsky.

Baroud's work has been published in hundreds of newspapers and journals worldwide, including The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, The Miami Herald, The Japan Times, Al-Ahram Weekly, Asia Times and nearly every English language publication throughout the Middle East.

He has been a guest on many television and radio programs including CNN International, BBC, ABC Australia, National Public Radio, Al-Jazeera and many others. He has contributed to many anthologies and his 2002 book, Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion has received international recognition.

His 2006 book, The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto Press: London) has won the praise of many scholars world-wide, such as Dr. Hanan Ashrawi who stated, "His volume presents a compelling narrative of Palestinian victimization without being defensive or apologetic, and with no attempt at disguising or denying internal weaknesses and shortcomings." Professor Norman Finkelstein praised the work, saying, "In this curious blend of passionately subjective yet dispassionately objective journalism, Ramzy Baroud chronicles the unfolding of the second Intifada in masterful prose."

His latest book: My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story, also published by Pluto Press, London (2010), narrates the story of the life of his family, (his family is used as a representation of millions of Palestinians in Diaspora) starting in the early 1940's until the present time.

Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University and Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestinian Territories, UN Human Right Council wrote about Ramzy's Gaza book: "Ramzy Baroud has written a deeply moving chronicle of the persisting Palestinian ordeal that manages to interweave and bring to life the heart-wrenching experience of his family, particularly the heroics of his father, with the daily cruelties of the prolonged Israeli occupation of Gaza, the frequent horrors of refugee existence, and the disillusioning futility of seeking an end to a bloody conflict that goes on and on. This book more than any I have read tells me why anyone of conscience must stand in solidarity with the continuing struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and a just peace."

Ramzy Baroud has been a guest speaker at many top universities around the world, including George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Rutgers University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Manchester (UK), University of Ireland (Dublin), University of Washington, Penn State University and the University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban, South Africa, He has also been a guest speaker at the House of Commons in London, England.

Customer Reviews

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See all 11 customer reviews
Ramzy Baroud grips the heart from the very beginning of this book.
susie q
It is the story of their heroic will to live, to educate themselves, and to provide for their families.
G. Polley
A must-read for anyone wanting to understand the issues behind the Middle East conflict.
Mr. M. Griffin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Desertwriter on April 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though I've only begun reading this new release a few days ago, one feels as if he's walking with this author thru time and history --thru the memories of his grandfathers and extended family eyes..during the Ottoman Empire's end and British Mandate's rule, transitioning from one form of oppression to the next until the time when their neighbors in nearby villages with whom they'd shared meals, had doctor visits become the hunters, expelling /clearing villages from the Gazan district turning friends into homeless landless refugees. Westerners hear little and know less about Gaza than any other part of Palestine but it is so central to all key issues of peace, war and negotiation. Daily accounts of bombings of an encaged people from daily paper becomes personal to the reader when experienced so intimately in this family of several generations in the Strip. Absolute must read this compelling account.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By susie q on April 27, 2010
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Ramzy Baroud grips the heart from the very beginning of this book. Through the prose, I saw Baroud's father, felt the sorrow of his fate as a refugee - an intelligent, compassionate man and father who had everything taken from him, including his ability to protect and provide for his family for the single reason that he was a non-Jewish native of Palestine. I felt Ramzy's shame at leaving his family behind even though it was his only choice if he hoped to get an education and live the life he and his father had wanted for him.
My Father Was a Freedom Fighter is at once a history of Palestine and the story of one proud family, torn from its ancient roots and cast into oblivion to trod through the indignities of the refugee's life. It is at once an academic work of historic significance and a work of literary non-fiction. Baroud's historic accounts spring from meticulous research, and the story of his family is clearly poured from his heart.
This book is a must read for anyone who cares to understand the foundation of the Palestine-Israel conflict; for anyone who cares to see the genocide happening before our very eyes. There will come a day when our children and grandchildren will ask us what did we do while Palestine was being wiped off the map. As Dr Abu Sitta points out in the preface, no one can honestly say "I did not know".
Palestine lives through the words of people like Baroud and through the actions of so many of Palestine's sons and daughters, who, contrary to David Ben Gurion's prediction, have not forgotten.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Isaac Perez-madrid on June 22, 2010
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I have read other books on the subject but Ramsy Baroud is very well documented, acurate and touchy he definitely knows how to write.
The problem with the Western world is that many people do not even know what is happening in the Middle East. The news-media keeps silent in the face of those crimes against humanity that are occurring right now at this very moment.
This is diabolical, because when you try to talk to people about it they even get mad. Where is the United Nations?, Where are all those Human Right Groups? and The International Red Cross?. Looks like the whole world has turned their back on the Palestinian people including the Arabs. Where are our politicians?.
This is a very interesting book that has to be read by everyone.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By G. Polley on August 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
The more I read about the history of the Palestinian people, the more I am reminded of the history of America's indigenous people since Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola in 1492. In both cases ethnic cleansing with its accompanying genocide were norms, especially when the indigenous peoples fought back. In both cases the indigenous populations were treated with disrespect, contempt and removal. And in both cases, genocide and ethnic cleansing were denied by the conquerors and their friends. In the public discourse, we're the good guys, they the villains. As Israeli historian Shlomo Sand says "what history does not wish to relate, it omits " as if omitting it wipes the slate of history clean. It does not. Eventually, liked or not, truth emerges and has to be faced.

For the Palestinians, many people still believe the old story. Just recently I heard someone say "it's hard to feel much sympathy for them when they spend so much time killing innocent people." That's the approved story, and vested interests would like to keep it that way, but with the advent of the Internet and the vocal voice of Palestinian journalists like Ramzy Baroud, this is rapidly changing. It is way past time that we all hear the Palestinian side of the story of what has happened to them since Israel became a nation in 1948 with the blessing of the UN, the U.S., Britain, France and other European powers. The truth, it is said will make us free when we hear and understand it. It is not always a pleasant experience, nor should it be.

Ramzy Baroud's book, "My Father Was a Freedom Fighter" is an important book. It is more than the story of his father, grandfather, their ancestral village of Beit Daras, its obliteration and their flight to Gaza.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Griffin on June 14, 2010
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My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story A book written with great passion and sensitivity. A really well-written and authoritative account of the harsh reality of life for the Palestinian people so brutally exiled from their homeland in 1948-49 at the hands of the Israeli military. It made me both sad and angry. A must-read for anyone wanting to understand the issues behind the Middle East conflict.
Mike Griffin
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