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I Was Born There, I Was Born Here [NOOK Book]

Overview

In 1996 Barghouti went back to his Palestinian home for the first time since his exile following the Six-Day War in 1967, first in Egypt and then in Hungary, and wrote a poignant and incisive account of the exile's lot in the acclaimed memoir I Saw Ramallah. In 2003 he returned to Ramallah to introduce his Cairo-born son, Tamim Barghouti, to his Palestinian family. Ironically, within a year Tamim himself had been arrested for taking part in a demonstration against the impending Iraq War and found himself not only...
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I Was Born There, I Was Born Here

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Overview

In 1996 Barghouti went back to his Palestinian home for the first time since his exile following the Six-Day War in 1967, first in Egypt and then in Hungary, and wrote a poignant and incisive account of the exile's lot in the acclaimed memoir I Saw Ramallah. In 2003 he returned to Ramallah to introduce his Cairo-born son, Tamim Barghouti, to his Palestinian family. Ironically, within a year Tamim himself had been arrested for taking part in a demonstration against the impending Iraq War and found himself not only in the same Cairo prison from which his father had been expelled from Egypt when Tamim was a baby, but in the very same cell.

I Was Born There, I was Born Here traces Barghouti's own life in recent years and in the past - early life in Palestine, expulsion from Cairo, exile to Budapest, marriage to one of Egypt's leading writers and critics (Radwa Ashour), the birth of his son, Tamim, and then the young man's own expulsion from Cairo.

Ranging freely back and forth in time, Barghouti weaves into his account poignant evocations of Palestinian history and daily life. His evocative, composed prose, beautifully rendered in Humphrey Davies' precise and sensitive translation, leads to the surprisingly candid condemnation of the Palestinian authority's leading figures and the astonishing verdict that 'The real disaster that the Palestinians are living through these days is that they've fallen under the control of a bunch of school kids with no teacher.'

Beautifully rendered by the prize-winning translator Humphrey Davies, I Was Born There, I Was Born Here, is destined, like its predecessor, to become a classic.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a series of grim, emotive essays set in the occupied territories of Israel, the long exiled Jordanian Palestinian poet Barghouti (I See Ramallah) recounts his return with his grown son and delineates the terrible changes he witnessed in the villages of his childhood and within his own family. Born in Deir Ghassanah, near Ramallah on the West Bank, in 1944, and displaced from his home with his family after the Nakba (as the Arabs call the “catastrophe” (nakba means catastrophe in Arabic) of the founding of Israel in 1948), Barghouti was largely schooled in Cairo; after being forcibly expelled from Egypt in 1977, despite being married to an Egyptian woman and with a newborn son, Tamim, the author lived in Budapest for 13 years, hindered from seeing his family except for short periods and essentially rendered helpless to protect them. In the essay “Father and Son,” Barghouti reconstructs the moment of returning to the land of his youth with the then 21-year-old Tamim, who had finally received an Israeli entry permit and was able to see firsthand the police state under which the Palestinian villages were held, involving arbitrary checkpoints, arrests, and interrogation. Yet while relentlessly critical of the Israelis, Barghouti also comes down hard on the failed Palestinian leadership, describing how his land was lost “through drowsiness, slumber, and trickery.” Barghouti vividly describes the Palestinian sense of “invisibility” juxtaposed with Israeli aggression to portray an untenable yet fiercely ongoing state of flux and conflict. (July)
Library Journal
Forced out of Israel after the Six-Day War, esteemed Palestinian poet Barghouti has lived a life of exile. As recounted here, he returned home in 1996 for a visit with his Cairo-born son, Tamim. Then, back in Egypt, Tamim was arrested for protesting against the Iraq War and held in the same prison cell his father had occupied before he was expelled for a time from Egypt. At first glance meditative and pointed; for anyone interested in the Middle East.
Kirkus Reviews
The emotionally powerful memoir of an exiled Palestinian poet. Barghouti (Midnight and Other Poems, 2008, etc.) won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for I Saw Ramallah, an account of his return to Ramallah in 1996 after a 30-year absence. In this sequel, he returns to introduce that land to his son, Tamim, who was born in Cairo to Barghouti's Egyptian wife and is a stranger in his father's homeland. When the author writes of olives and coffee as metaphors for relationships, the poet in him shines through. When he writes of Israelis, his hatred is raw and his language loaded. Barghouti leaves no doubt about his feelings about Israel, nor about the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, whose "corruption is firm, deeply rooted, and beyond redemption," nor about Arab dictatorships, which are "enamored to the point of scandal with their colonizers." Barghouti's chapters can be read as stand-alone essays, and one of the most unforgettable is "The Ambulance," an account of slipping through the Qalandya checkpoint by riding inside an ambulance bearing a fragile old woman to a hospital in Ramallah. The memoir is full of flashbacks, and in this piece the flashback is to the death of his older brother Mounif. The fragments of poems embedded throughout the book often provide powerful images that speak louder than the author's sometimes harsh condemnations. A moving picture of one man's personal grief and undying anger.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802743527
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Mourid Barghouti was born in 1944 near Ramallah. He has published thirteen books of poetry in Arabic including a Collected Works (1997) and was awarded the Palestine Award for Poetry in 2000. Mourid Barghouti lives in Cairo with his wife, the novelist Radwa Ashour.
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Table of Contents

'Come Closer', Foreword John Berger xi

1 The Driver Mahmoud 1

2 Father and Son 31

3 The Yasmin Building 53

4 I Was Born There, I Was Born Here 79

5 The Identity Card 107

6 The Ambulance 115

7 Saramago 137

8 The Alhambra 159

9 Things One Would Never Think Of 173

10 The Dawn Visitor 195

11 An Ending Leading to the Beginning? 211

Glossary 215

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