Once upon a country : a Palestinian life

by Sari Nusseibeh

Other authorsAnthony David (Author)
Hardcover, 2007




New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.


"Once upon a country is as remarkable a book about the Middle East as has been published in recent years. The story of one man's life in the region, it is also the richest and most sympathetic account to date of the modern Palestinian outlook." "Sari Nusseibeh-now a university president - was raised to be a "representative man" of post-1948 Palestine. His family's roots in the region can be traced back to the Middle Ages, and his father served as the governor of Jerusalem. Educated in philosophy at Oxford (where he met his wife, Lucy) and Harvard (where he worked as a dishwasher to make ends meet), Nusseibeh returned to Jerusalem intending to build upon his father's support for Palestinian coexistence with Israel." "But the wars of 1967 and 1973 spelled the beginning of the end for the vision of a unified Palestine taking its place alongside Israel - and Nusseibeh's story dramatizes the consequences of war, partition, and terrorism as few other books have done. The never-ending conflicts in the region meant that Nusseibeh was drawn into politics, and his account shows us the daily life of the embattled Palestinian leadership from the inside. From his time teaching side by side with Israelis at the Hebrew University through his appointment by Yasir Arafat to administer Arab Jerusalem, he has held fast to the principles of freedom and equality for all even as the power brokers around him insist that these are impossible to fulfill. As his ancient and storied land is torn apart by settlements and barricades, corruption and violence, Nusseibeh struggles to keep alive some faint hope for his country's future."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member bblum
I am trying to get through this before I visit Israel and the West Bank but I will have to pick it up again upon my return. This is a memoir of growing up in the West Bank to an important Palestinian family and personal friend of Arafat. It is dense, it has a lot of history and I just don't have
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time to finish it. So far focus is on the history of the Palestinians and the 1948 conflict with Israel. It is well written and engaging.
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