Wednesday, May 10, 2006

CS Monitor is all about Palestine

Well, their recent book reviews were: they loved Jean Said Makdisi (Edward Said's sister)'s book, Teta, Mother, and Me, and they also loved The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan. The latter sounds amazing; check it:
The Eshkenazis, Jewish refugees from Bulgaria, arrived in the brand new state of Israel in 1948. They were taken to the town of al-Ramla where they were settled in an empty home. Four months earlier, that house had been abandoned by the Khairi family who'd fled - imagining they'd be back the next day - seeking refuge from fighting.

The Eshkenazis had an infant named Dalia. The Khairi's son, Bashir, was 6 at the time.

Twenty years passed. Then, one day, as Dalia was home alone in her parents' house on break from university, there was a knock on the door. It was Bashir.

For nearly two decades he and his family had been living in exile, dreaming of the home they'd left behind. When the 1967 Six-Day War changed boundaries, it suddenly became possible for Bashir to travel to Ramla by bus. He arrived at the door of his former house and, against all odds, Dalia invited him in.

Thus was forged the most unlikely of bonds, continued over the course of decades through visits, letters, and heartfelt dialogues. Dalia has long believed that between two people of goodwill there is no issue that cannot finally be resolved. Bashir - whose youthful anger drove him deep into the Palestinian resistance and who has since spent a significant portion of his life in Israeli jails - does not necessarily share her conviction. But he has never ceased believing in Dalia's personal goodness.
Don't imagine, however, that this story offers any answers. Dalia and Bashir have never been able to agree on a solution to the larger dilemma (she favors a retreat to Israel's pre-1967 boundaries and a two-state solution; he continues to insist on a full restoration of the land to the Palestinians). But due to Dalia's growing conviction that the house should never have been taken from the Khairis, she has since turned it into a kindergarten for Palestinian children living in Israel.
That book will make me cry. I cracked a tear while reading the freakin' review.


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