In Search of Fatima Book
In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story (Hardcover)
by Ghada Karmi (Author)
In Search of Fatima Book Details
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Verso (December 2002)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
From Publishers Weekly
Karmi, a doctor and founding member of the British political group Palestine Action, relates her quest for cultural identity after her "fragile... and misfit Arab family" leaves Jerusalem for England during the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Ironically, they resettle in a Jewish neighborhood in London; Karmi, aged nine, quickly begins to assimilate-becoming an avid reader of English literature and befriending Jewish neighbors-despite her mother's insistence on traditional Palestinian culinary customs, dating mores and family codes. Over the next two decades, events in the Middle East make their non-Arab neighbors increasingly hostile and her Jewish friends' pro-Israel fervor grows; after the Palestinian terrorist hijackings of the 1970s, some acquaintances refuse to speak to her. Karmi becomes an impassioned pro-Palestinian activist, and in 1977 she begins practicing medicine in a Palestinian refugee camp in South Lebanon-and finds that her Western upbringing and habits make her even less welcome there than she was in England. Karmi writes engagingly, weaving Palestinian political and social history through her personal recollections and giving the age-old emigr‚ dilemmas a timely twist. Though her account is inevitably one-sided regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the book's straightforward tone may appeal to politically minded readers looking for insight into the Palestinian exile experience. 20 b&w photos, 3 maps.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A conscious and skillful attempt to educate the West into emotional sympathy with a Palestine. -- Barnaby Rogerson, Lebanon Daily Star, 17 April 2004
In Search of Fatima Book Description
Very few diaspora Palestinians have written memoirs as intimate as Ghada Karmi's frank account of her life: her childhood in Palestine, the flight to Britain after the catastrophe of 1948, and coming of age in the coffee-bars of Golders Green, the middle-class Jewish quarter in North London. A gentle humour describes the bizarre and sometimes tense realities that mask her life in 'Little Tel Aviv' and, later, her struggle, like that of many other women in the late fifties, to get a university grant to study medicine.
The intimacy of the book is set against the continuing crisis in the Middle East. In her case it is not an account of physical hardships and abuse. Her immediate family was lucky. But as she grew older, memories of the lost homeland began to haunt her. Her anger grows at the self-deception of most Israelis, who justify the appalling actions of their governments by pretending that what is taking place isn't actually happening.
In Search of Fatima reminds us that the only crime the Palestinians committed was to be born in Palestine. Its author, a committed physician, is desperate for the wounds to heal, but grim-visaged History refuses to oblige.
About In Search of Fatima Book Author
Ghada Karmi was born in Jerusalem and trained as a doctor of medicine at Bristol University. She established the first British-Palestinian medical charity in 1972 and was an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs. Her previous books include The Ethnic Health Factfile and Jerusalem Today.