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Palestinian Memories by Alex Awad
July 29, 2008

(Posted on July 29, 2008)

The author describes her in the following words:

Mother was not tough disciplinarian. She was very gentle and easy going with her children. We learned more from her powerful example than from her preaching or teaching. From her example we learned to love God and love people. From her determination we learned to value education. From her attitude we learned the power of forgiveness and from her resiliency we learned the value of facing lifes challenges with gratitude and integrity. (p. 55).

Indeed, the first part of the book demonstrates the veracity of the aforementioned words. The second part of the book (89-318) is an elaborate expansion and update of Awads earlier book, Through the Eyes of the Victims. Awad narrates the story of the Palestinian people since the beginning of the twentieth century. Addressing a Western audience, Awad explains the major events and wars that shaped the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He focuses on narrating the issues from a Palestinian perspective employing many colorful maps, capturing photos, and thought provoking Palestinian paintings. Furthermore, Awads historiography entails theological engagement. Awad addresses the major theological questions that are associated with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as many other common questions (pp. 243-268; 285-318). Last, the book has several other desirable features: (1) it has a nice hard cover, (2) an inspiring foreword by Rev. Naim Ateek, (3) five helpful appendices that include a glossary of terms, key bibliographies, important documents, peace proposals, and helpful resources. Further, the book has a good list of bibliography and an index.

Last, Awad has succeeded in presenting an informative Palestinian perspective of the Palestinian-Israel problem. However, I think that the two major parts of the book should have been two separate books. Further, the theological engagement in the book lacks depth. It would have been better if Awad has focused on the historical dimension and has paid more attention to engaging the Jewish Israeli historiographies. Having said that, I still recommend Awads interesting, informative, as well as inspiring contribution.

Written by Yohanna katanacho

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