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Karl Sabbagh

Palestine: A Personal History

The Sabbagh family have a long history in the region of Palestine, and in this book Karl Sabbagh interleaves the history of his family with that of Palestine and the disputes between the occupants leading up to partition in 1947. Now there are two sides to every question and Sabbagh's account clearly takes one side. How much is this acceptable? Well, my feeling is that everyone has a right to tell their side of the story. On the other hand an author writing a historical account should try to be unbiased. So which is Sabbagh doing? The answer is: a bit of both.

In the first part of the book he is writing about the history of the area, and I constantly felt that his story was too one-sided. I think that Sabbagh, who has written a carefully considered account of a scientific fraud, could have done better in this case. For instance any society is likely to have a westernized component. For the Palestinian Arabs this is seen as a plus - they were perfectly able to run a modern state. However for the Jews the same 'modernity' was seen as a minus - they were interlopers in an Oriental country. I almost gave up reading the book at this point.

That would have been a pity, because when the book gets to events within the living memory of Sabbagh's family the tone changes. One reads the story of the many injustices which the Palestinian people have suffered - a story which is frequently hidden by the western media and deserves to be heard.

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Hardcover
ISBN: 1843543443
Salesrank: 11440612
Weight:1.32 lbs
Published: 2006 Atlantic Books
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Hardcover 384 pages  
ISBN: 1843543443
Salesrank: 617771
Weight:1.32 lbs
Published: 2006 Atlantic Books
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Hardcover 384 pages  
ISBN: 1843543443
Salesrank:
Weight:1.32 lbs
Published: 2006 Atlantic Books
Marketplace::Used from CDN$ 5.59
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Product Description
In a brilliant piece of detective work, Karl Sabbagh investigates the story of his Palestinian ancestors and through it the history of what was, and may become again, Palestine. Born the son of a Palestinian father but raised by his English mother in south London, Sabbagh was only a child when the United Nations voted in 1947 to divide Palestine into two states. Palestine and Palestinians had existed for centuries, their roots in the mélange of tribes, ethnic groups, and religions that peopled the area for thousands of years. Using his family tree as a guide, Sabbagh details how the descendants of these original inhabitants were forced from their homes into refugee settlements on the West Bank, Gaza, and dispersed around the world. Their desire to return to the land they feel is rightly theirs is at the root of an endless cycle of discord and violence between Jews and Arabs that is being fought to this day. With Palestine , Sabbagh bravely attempts both to illuminate and come to terms with his family’s—and his people’s—turbulent past.

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