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on 4 December 2002
This is a most blatantly honest account of the events in Palestine up to 1948 firstly seen throught the innocent eyes of a Palestinian Muslim child, a girl; how that little girl becomes a woman living in England in exile and contrary to her parents' wishes eagerly adopts her host country's culture, education and habits to the point of marriage. The confusion she feels as events unfold in the Middle East, through her adolescence to adulthood, is laid bare on the page and her accounts of British ignorance of the plight of Palestinians at that time are disturbing. (One wonders how much that has changed). Relationships between Arab men and Western women and vice versa are particularly well brought to our attention and her eventual return visit to her homeland is heartbreaking. Ghada Karmi has shown great courage in writing this book and I, for one, have learned a lot as well as thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I hope this will be published worldwide.
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on 29 December 2008
i read this well written book in 3 days. it works on many levels. one level is about personal identity. the author discusses her own arab identity, english identity and an identity neither fully arab nor english. her life story demonstrates how shifting identities are a product of experience and social environment.

she starts in palestine and then as a child is forced into exile with her family who settle in london via a short stay in damascus. an english identity develops in conflict with her native arab identity. this results in a "culture clash." on leaving london to attend bristol medical school she determines to complete the transformation to a dark skinned english girl. she marries an englishman against opposition from her family but the marriage is short lived resulting in divorce. her identity develops further, she becomes a political activist for the palestinian cause and travels back to the middle east.

and so i have titled this review "in search of identities."

overall, i enjoyed reading this book very much.
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on 14 March 2003
This is clearly a book written from the heart and is full of human emotion. The reader is therefore carried along as though on a fascinating foreign journey with an interesting and warm hearted companion. The factual detail provides a scholarly resource for students of the troubled modern history of Palestine and above all Gharda's story tells of the human tradgedies and the effect on individual lives of systematic ethnic cleansing from 1948 and continuing today. A very good and rewarding book.
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on 2 September 2006
When it comes to writing memoirs, Ghada Karmi has perfected the art to a tee. Starting from her early childhood in pre-partition Palestine, she painfuly recounts the events that led to her displacement from the land she loved so much. One can only read with disgust, at the way in which her, and many like her, suffered at the hands of Israeli terrorism. A must read.
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on 28 September 2003
Anyone who is able to read should read this book.
The truth about the plight of the Palestinians and the Zionist terrorism which flouts international law and basic individual human rights as defined by the so-called 'western democratic coalition' and in fact sponsored hypocritically by the same coalition - ignored by western / israeli dominance of media representation which biasly supports Israeli occupation and aggression through selective forgetting and active under-representation of the Palestinian side of the argument, excessively employing age old racist stereotyping of Arabs, focusing predominantly on indefensible Palestinian acts of terrorism (often desperate retaliation), and ignoring indefensible israeli acts of aggressive terrorism which has claimed 5 times as many Palestinian civillian casualties, arguably more.
More than half a century of suffering of innocent people - Ghada Karmi has written an honest human story through the eyes of a young muslim Palestinian girl - barbarically forced into exile along with her civillian family. It is the story of the suffering which the Muslims in Palestine confront today even as you read this, lucidly written in a highly engaging entertaining style - this book is a classic in the genre of Wild Swans. At last a sincere honest book about the plight of the Palestinians which appeals to the heart.
Chomsky and Said are invaluable - Karmi however does not engage in impenetrable academic discourse but commands a popular media (the autobiography) with which to relay her experience. There is no excuse not to read this book - Karmi ensures that the language of her story, the greatest injustice since the holocaust, is wholly penetrable to the popular reader -
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on 25 January 2006
this is very intresting book, i have nejoyed reading it, it corrects some of my informayion about the arab-israeli conflict.
it is based on the real story, u can feel how much trouble and problems those Phlastenians have faced.
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on 7 August 2010
Interesting insight into the conflict; I was learning without realising it. It is an interesting story but repetitive in places.
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on 15 April 2015
Excellent thank you!
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