I heartily recommend Susan Abulhawa’s Mornings in Jenin as a book for understanding the Israel-Palestine conflict from the point of view of refugees of the Nakva, the catastrophe that drove Palestinians from their homes in 1948. This is a novel, with a narrative grounded in fact and written in a superb prose style that reads beautifully even in translation. It is a story about families in history, with universal appeal. I am a North American.
The novel is set in the Middle East. I first heard of it in Africa, from a friend who lives in Europe. Regardless of where one is situated or where one’s sympathies generally lie, the characters and events of /Mornings in Jenin, /because they are so real and so richly drawn, speak to complex human issues and can therefore teach one—perhaps better than the history books—about the internal and external forces that drive the Israel-Palestine conflict.
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