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Morning in Jenin [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Susan Abulhawa , Jilly Bond
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 July 2010
Palestine, 1941. In the small village of Ein Hod a father leads a procession of his family and workers through the olive groves. As they move through the trees the green fruits drop onto the orchard floor; the ancient cycle of the seasons providing another bountiful harvest. 1948. The Abulheja family are forcibly removed from their ancestral home in Ein Hod and sent to live in a refugee camp in Jenin. Through Amal, the bright granddaughter of the patriarch, we witness the stories of her brothers: one, a stolen boy who becomes an Israeli soldier; the other who in sacrificing everything for the Palestinian cause will become his enemy. Amal's own dramatic story threads its way through six decades of Palestinian-Israeli tension, eventually taking her into exile in Pensylvania in America. Amal's is a story of love and loss, of childhood, marriage and parenthood, and finally the need to share her history with her daughter, to preserve the greatest love she has. Richly told and full of humanity, "Mornings in Jenin" forces us to take a fresh look at one of the defining political conflicts of our lifetime. It is an extraordinary debut.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Limited; Unabridged edition (12 July 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0857350293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857350299
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,753,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'It's a touching and sometimes funny portrait of rural life ... her (Susan Abulhawa) blend of fiction and documentary is on of the books strenghts.' -- Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A heart-wrenching, powerfully written novel that could do for Palestine what The Kite Runner did for Afghanistan.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-read 7 Jun 2010
By stibule
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book - I had chosen it for a book club read and we all loved it, although using the word "love" to describe a story so tragic may be a little trite. One of the reviews mentioned that the writing was too simplistic - I felt that the story was simply told, but that this simplicity and lack of detailed desription of all the horror made it all the more poignant and credible. There is only one bit right at the end (when you read it you will know what I am referring to!) that was unsatisfying to read as it did not ring true with the rest of the novel, and was not really necessary to add. I finished the book thinking that I had a much clearer understanding of why people would be driven to do some of the extreme things we read about in the papers, and it gave a Palestinian perspective on the troubles in their beautiful country. I also think that a lot of the book was about love and family and humanity. I cannot believe that it is not a world-wide best seller!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accountability or lack thereof. 2 April 2013
By Pigwin
This is the story, told through four generations, of a Palestinian family forcibly evicted from their home in Ein Hod and exiled to the refugee camp at Jenin following the establishment of the State of Israel. It is beautifully told and, while it portrays the deprivation and sense of hopelessness that must fester in such primitive conditions, the author manages to show individual Jewish characters in a sympathetic light.

Unlike some readers who have commented here, I was aware of the squalor of the Palestinian refugee camps and the injustice suffered by Palestinians and the war crimes committed against them. I was often horror-stricken as Israel, a democracy, we are told, used the vast might of its army to inflict huge loss of life on defenceless civilians - a clear example of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut! I learned a lot about this question through the measured and balanced writing of the writer and journalist Robert Fisk, the late great academic Professor Edward Said and the marvellous Peace not Aparthid and other writings by Jimmy Carter- but this is a tale that needs to be heard by many.

The reason Ariel Sharon (or any other Israeli leader) was never and will never be brought to account for the war crimes of the massacres at the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps and other atrocities inflicted on the Palestinians (especially women and children) is the support Israel enjoys in its Middle east objective - I will not insult anyone's intelligence by drawing a blueprint and will leave people to make the inference. No right-thinking person would ever deny the inalienable right of the Jewish people to statehood but equally the Palestinian people possess that right.

With the unquestioning support of a Great Power I fear it is a case of "What needst we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account".

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing eye opener 9 July 2010
By Princess Mononoke VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Beautifully written, I was hooked by the first page. The story of the Abulheja family and their friends is written with such humour and warmth that you feel that you know them personally. The horror of the Israeli invasion and the terror that these people have lived through was something that I wasn't properly aware of before. To my shame, I have to admit that I had no knowlege of the atrocities committed against the Palestinians by the settlers and the Israeli government.

Susan Abulhawa writes with such compassion and understanding that it is impossible not to be drawn to her characters; what particularly impressed me was the humanity in her writing - it is not a simple case of good v bad which a lesser author might have fallen into the trap of - there is a section near the end of the book when Amal is confronted by a young Israeli soldier who presses his gun against her forehead. Abulhawa writes

"The power he holds over life is a staggering burden for so young a man. He knows it and wants it lifted. He is too handsome not to have a girlfriend nervously waiting for his return. He would rather be with her than with his conscience. With his burden or with me."

This is a book I will keep and re-read and save for when my daughter is old enough to read it. This book deserves to be a best seller and should be read widely - not just for its honest account of the middle east but also for it's beauty and as an introduction to the poetry of Khalil Gibran.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener 2 April 2010
I read this book a while ago and was totally entranced and read it quickly because I wanted to know what happened. I know some reviewers don't think much of the literary style but why should that get in the way of this wonderful story. I've ordered multiple copies of this book for my bookshop and I recommend it to customers. For anyone wanting to know about this conflict it gives a perspective the (mainline) media do not report.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great book 2 Aug 2010
Mornings in Jenin is a very special book. Not only does it present the Palestinian narrative with great skill and compassion, but it is also extremely readable. the characters are full of humanity, and I finished the book feeling profoundly moved.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I had previously read a couple of books set in Palestine, dealing with the effect of the invasion of Israel into Palestinian lands. Both left me with several questions. I was really impressed with Mornings in Jenin because it filled in the gaps in my knowledge with such ease, whilst providing an excellent narrative and a rewarding read.

The fact that the author was born in a refugee camp gives her a hands-on view of events from the Palestinian point of view. Whilst I recognise that this will, necessarily, be a biased view, there are books available written from the other side of the fence that also describe the Israeli experience. It must be almost impossible to write a book on this subject that will be impartial.

The family in the novel are from El-Hod, originally in Palestine; they are displaced from their olive farm in 1948. The story is narrated by Amal, the young daughter of the Abulheja family, and continues over 4 generations of the same family. The strong hope for the future, in spite of the hardships, is evident, as well as the effects on youngsters, of life lived entierly in times of war.

Whilst not an easy read, I hope this will become a popular book, spreading the plight of the Palestinians in the West where the Israelis are generally thought to be the 'good-guys'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Again very good
Published 19 hours ago by Grace Beamish
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
I love it! harsh and beautiful, Heartrending. Wonderful language
Published 10 days ago by lee sandberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very harrowing story but an excellent book. Highly recommend.
Published 14 days ago by mrs c goodfellow
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
This book was recommended to me by several people. What a beautifully written, emotional and gripping read. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Kel A
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish Allah would grant me the strength Amal had.
It was hard to bid farewell to Amal. It was like loosing a family member of my own all over again. I wish Sara all the best in life.
Published 21 days ago by Mrs Salma Najefy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really good read. Interesting to read about the Palestine/Israeli conflict from the Palestinian point of view.
Published 27 days ago by Nicholas RE Previte
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Tragic storey beautifully written
Published 27 days ago by MRS JAN KERN
5.0 out of 5 stars A very articulate and powerful book that dares to present a...
This is apparently the first bestselling novel in English to explore the history of post-1948 Palestine, which it does through consideration of four generations of the extended... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr R
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Saddaf Shaheen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Life changing book a must read!
Published 1 month ago by Miss Sarra Al-Shahir
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