Most of our readers were probably too young to witness the Nakba firsthand. Still, generations of Palestinians have been weaned on stories of the 1948 Nakba. Those who gambled that Palestinians would forget were dead wrong. Some 73 years later, the memories are as strong as ever. Vivid, cherished, yet painful memories have been passed on by elders from one generation to the next. As always, the compass leads us to Jerusalem, the heart of Palestine. In the early 1940s, Palestinians who lived in the western part of the city were thriving and living their best life. But Britain, in collusion with militant Zionist factions, was drawing up an immoral partition that would change the fate of Jerusalem and its Palestinian residents. Overnight, lives were turned upside down. Seeking a safe refuge, families were forced to flee their homes in the dead of night. Most didn’t think they needed to pack beyond a couple of days. They certainly didn’t anticipate that they’d witness a change of season while they were away from home. How many seasons have changed since that day?
The theme of this issue is West Jerusalem. Very personal stories whisk readers to Baq’a, Qatamon, and Talbiyeh – Palestinian neighborhoods in what later became known as West Jerusalem. This is not the story of one or two individuals or families, this is the story of Palestine. We promise that, after reading these stories, you will find them engraved forever in your mind and in your heart!
TWiP thanks Munib R. Masri for acquiring the gold sponsorship of this issue. Thanks also go to this month’s authors: Marina Parisinou, a Greek-Jerusalemite; Huda Imam, a Sheikh Jarrah native and activist; Marya Farah, a lawyer who focuses on international human rights law; Nahla Shawkat Assali, a member of the board of trustees at Birzeit University; Dr. Adnan Abdelrazek, a researcher and Palestinian academic; Sir Vincent Fean, Chair of the Balfour Project charity, and former British Consul-General, Jerusalem; Sami Abou Shehadeh, a Palestinian historian and member of the Israeli Parliament; Rania Muhareb, a human rights scholar; and Terry Rempel, a scholar and founding member of BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights. Colorful, rich, and moving stories are narrated by Abla Mohammad Taher Dajani Daoudi, Laura Baramki Khoury, and Claudette Ayoub Habesch. In this issue, TWiP also pays tribute to human rights activist Suha Jarrar, who passed away while her mother, activist Khalida Jarrar, remains imprisoned by Israel.
Our Book of the Month is In My Mother’s Footsteps: A Palestinian Refugee Returns Home by Mona Halaby; Chef Fadi Kattan shares a gem in TWiP Kitchen. Our Artist of the Month is Wanees Zarour. Where to Go takes you to Mandela Square, and Ahlan Palestine looks at the lives of West Jerusalem’s Palestinians through architecture.
From the entire team at TWiP, we hope you enjoy the rest of the summer – and thank you for your support!
By Amal Hassan