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The Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine Kindle Edition
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A Palestinian-American activist recalls his adolescence in Gaza during the Second Intifada, and how he made a strong commitment to peace in the face of devastating brutality in this moving, candid, and transformative memoir that reminds us of the importance of looking beyond prejudice, anger, and fear.
"Captivating."--Robin Wright, The New Yorker
Yousef Bashir’s story begins in Gaza, on a verdant ten-acre farm beside an Israeli settlement and military base. When the soccer-mad Yousef was eleven, the Second Intifada exploded. First came the shooting, then the occupation. Ordered to leave their family home, Yousef’s father refused, even when the Israeli soldiers moved in, seizing the top two floors. For five long years, three generations of the Bashir family were virtual prisoners in their own home. Despite this, Yousef’s father—a respected Palestinian schoolteacher whose belief in coexisting peacefully with his Israeli neighbors was unshakeable—treated the soldiers as honored guests. His commitment to peace was absolute.
Though Yousef’s family attracted international media attention, and received letters of support from around the world, Yousef witnessed the destruction of his home, his neighborhood, and the happy life he had known with growing frustration and confusion. For the first time he wondered if his father’s belief in peace was justified and whether he was strong enough—or even wanted—to follow his example. At fifteen, that doubt was tested. Standing in his front yard with his father and three United Nations observers, he was shot in the spine by an Israeli soldier, leaving him in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down, for a year.
While an Israeli soldier shot him, it was Israeli doctors who saved Yousef and helped him eventually learn to walk again. In the wake of that experience, Yousef was forced to reckon with the words of his father. And like the generous, empathetic man who raised him, he too became an outspoken activist for peace.
Amid the tragedy of the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict, The Words of My Father is a powerful tale of moral awakening and a fraught, ferocious, and profound relationship between a son and his father. Bashir's story and the ideals of peace and empathy it upholds are a soothing balm for these dangerous and troubled times, and a reminder that love and compassion are a gift—and a choice.
Bashir's memoir follows a young Palestinian man's development into an advocate for peace...His memoir provides a fascinating look at growing up in extreme circumstances.-- "Booklist"
An inspiration to peace activists in all theaters of war and struggle and a book that deserves a wide audience.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
A work of profound spiritual beauty, one of the great memoirs to emerge from this terrible conflict. For Israelis like myself, reading Bashir's story is a deeply wrenching experience. And yet, while I strongly disagree with some of his premises, I found myself feeling grateful to Bashir for his open heart and mind. The Words of My Father offers all of us hope that this seemingly intractable conflict can find a solution that is just to both sides.-- "Yossi Klein Halevi, New York Times bestselling author"
To experience love and humanity on many levels, read this story. Beautifully told by a young man whose voice deserves to be heard-even if the world is not yet ready to listen.-- "Diana Darke, author of My House in Damascus"
[A] remarkable new memoir...Full of youthful exuberance, unlikely adventures, and raw discovery...Captivating.-- "New Yorker" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
From the Back Cover
Yossi Klein Halevi author of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B07HF7DL3T
- Publisher : Harper; Reprint edition (May 7, 2019)
- Publication date : May 7, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 2901 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 226 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,276 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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I have been an activist for years, but this book has motivated me to try to let go of any bitterness I feel and realize that when I lose my connection to the humanity of others, I am in essence, losing connection to my own humanity. Yousef's father was not willing to do that. He realized that was too great a price pay. I want to carry his message with me from now on. It's a great resolution to make today, at the start of 2021.
I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It conveys an eternal message still seeking a wider audience. I write this at a time when I am seeing hate and distrust in America at levels I never imagined. Yes, we must pray and we must also work - and work and work - to find lines of communication and points of entry to one another's experience until the commitment to peace is stronger than the desire for dominance. The Words of My Father is a clear and compelling Guidebook.
I read this book with my book club, and I highly recommend it. It took me to a place I did not know.
I have profound respect for Yousef's family, especially his mom, for staying in place for peace when the bullets were flying in.