The Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine

Yousef Bashir. Harper, $25.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-291732-4
Bashir’s candid and deeply felt coming-of-age story unfolds largely during the Second Intifada. Starting when Bashir was 11, Israeli soldiers occupied his family’s farm on the Gaza Strip. He led a fairly average adolescent life—playing video games and watching soccer—while witnessing abuse, such as when soldiers would force his father, a respected school headmaster who advocated for peace with Israel, to submit at gunpoint to a daily strip search. Bashir’s father remained a pacifist, even after 15-year-old Bashir was shot by an Israeli soldier from a watchtower outside his house just minutes past curfew. He was left paralyzed from the waist down for a year, and despite his anger, he recognized the complexities of his country: “It was a Jewish soldier who had shot me, but the nurses were also Jewish.” Three years later, attending college in Boston, Bashir advocated for Israeli-Palestinian peace and later became a member of the Palestinian Diplomatic Delegation to the U.S. Throughout, his father’s words resonated: “Violence only leads to more violence.” Even in the face of great adversity, Bashir prevails as an optimistic champion of peace, as he eloquently and subtly writes, “all I had to offer this world were my little words about the need for peace.” This moving meditation of a young man’s struggle to find peace amid turmoil will resonate with readers concerned with Israeli-Palestinian relations. (May)
Reviewed on : 05/24/2019
Release date: 05/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-06-291734-8
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