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Oraynab Jwayyed’s Reviews: My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story

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By Oraynab Jwayyed

When I first came across the title of this book, My Father was a Freedom Fighter, I thought, “How brave”. Anyone with any connection to the Middle East understands the risk such a statement makes. This is especially true after 9-11 and even more so in the wake of terrorist attacks abroad from so-called Islamists.

The book is told in three perspectives: historical, personal, and first account. Readers are taken on the unfortunate journey of Ramzy Baroud’s family from their native village of Beit Daras to the refugee camps of Gaza.

The journey is well documented and supported by academic research, the author’s personal interviews and stories handed down by his family, and those narrated by the elderly women of Beit Daras, such as Um Mohammad and Um Adel. We learn about Baroud’s father, Mohammad, and his struggle for recognition and a final return to his village.

We’re also exposed to the suffering of the people of Gaza, as well as their resilience and commitment to life and living. Unlike other books that cover the Palestinian’s dispossession, Baroud breaks the monotony and sadness of their suffering with a touch of humor that stems from fond memories of his youth.

It’s a book that should be read by anyone who wants to understand how a people can still learn to live despite a brutal occupation.

(Good Reads)