From 3000 BC onwards, the area known today as Palestine has been successively controlled by Philistines, Jews, Romans, Arabs, Turks and the British. But for hundreds of years prior to the UN-mandated partition in 1947 and the creation of the state of Israel the majority of inhabitants were the ancestors of today's Arab Palestinians. In the thirty years (and three Arab-Israeli wars) that followed 700,000 Arabs were forced from their homes into refugee settlements on the West Bank, Gaza and further afield. Their desire to return to their homes on the land they feel is rightly theirs continues to create a political impasse. Karl Sabbagh was born to a British mother and a Palestinian father who was the lead broadcaster and war correspondent for the BBC Arabic service. When the war ended, Isa Khalil Sabbagh was sent to New York to cover the fateful UN vote of 1947. Karl Sabbagh's Palestine: A Personal History is an attempt to understand and come to terms with his father's, and his people's, turbulent past. It is also a panoramic political and cultural survey of Palestine which pinpoints psychological and religious barriers that have undermined two peoples' ability to create a lasting peace in the region.