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A Rift in Time: Travels with My Ottoman Uncle by Raja Shehadeh

By Raja Shehadeh

The hunt for his great-uncle Najib Nassar, an Ottoman journalist – the main points of his lifestyles, and the path of his nice get away from occupied Palestine – fed on award-winning author Raja Shehadeh for 2 years. As he strains Najib’s footsteps, he discovers that at the present time it'd be very unlikely to escape the cage that Palestine has develop into. A Rift in Time is a family members memoir written in luminescent prose, however it can also be a mirrored image on how Palestine – specifically the disputed Jordan Rift Valley – has been remodeled. so much of Palestine’s historical past and that of its humans is buried deep within the floor: entire villages have disappeared and names were erased from the map. but via seeing the larger photo of the panorama and the endless fight for freedom as Shehadeh does, it truly is nonetheless attainable to seem in the direction of a greater destiny, loose from Israeli or Ottoman oppression.

“A paintings of passionate polemic, traveling, historical past, and autobiography, this hugely unique attention of the Palestinian-Israeli factor is based round a sequence of lively, attentive hikes in the course of the occupied territories.”—The New Yorker

“Raja Shehadeh’s Palestinian Walks presents an extraordinary ancient perception into the tragic adjustments happening in Palestine.” —President Jimmy Carter

“Towards any right realizing of background there are lots of small paths. This consistently outstanding e-book modestly describes strolling alongside yes paths that have touched the lived lives of 2 millennia. Its strolling advisor is an aged guy who confesses; his confessions usually come across a perennial knowledge, and what he's speaking approximately and jogging throughout is likely one of the nodal issues of the world’s current situation. I strongly recommend you stroll with him.”—John Berger , writer of how of Seeing

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Extra info for A Rift in Time: Travels with My Ottoman Uncle

Example text

At the conclusion of his visit he asked the office to draw up a comprehensive plan for countering Arab opposition to Zionism. One of the proposals included ‘provocation of dissension between Christians and Muslims’. And here I was, almost a century later, standing on the high hill overlooking Tiberias and having to defend Christians who, just as my own family, had suffered as much as Muslims in their plight as refugees. Where the Israeli state failed in co-opting the Christian minority left in the country after the Nakba, they succeeded with the Druze, for whom service in the Israeli army is obligatory.

26 Escaping Arrest ‘Would you like to come and visit me? ’ ‘Why not? ’ The two breakfasted and became friends, and Najib was pleased with this new contact, who might be of help to him in the future. The day after, Abu Faris arranged for someone to take the donkey belonging to Abu Sharra’. When Abu Sharra’ came looking for it, Abu Faris told him, ‘Even though you implicated me in stealing almonds from one of our allies, the Austrians, I’ll help you find your donkey. But I have one condition. ’ After this Abu Faris continued to visit Najib and when there was a search in the neighbourhood Najib would go to the jubkhana to hide until the raid was over.

Until 1908 Christians had been spared military service, but that year the exemption was lifted. This meant that both Kamel and his elder son were eligible for the draft. The family lived in dread of the men being taken away. Both had to leave the house every time they suspected the authorities were coming for them. To harbour a wanted man was dangerous and Najib had no wish to add to the family’s burden. As it was impossible to remain there without exposing his friend to danger from the military authorities, he decided to leave and rented a garden shed in the grounds next to the Austrian Hospital.

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