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Palestinian Women: Narrative Histories and Gendered Memory


About the Book

Palestinian Women is the first book to examine and document the experiences and the historical narrative of ordinary Palestinian women who witnessed the events of 1948 and became involuntary citizens of the State of Israel. Told in their own words, the women's experiences serve as a window for examining the complex intersections of gender, nationalism and citizenship in a situation of ongoing violent political conflict. Known in Palestinian discourse as the 'Nakbeh', or the 'Catastrophe', these events of 60 years ago still have a powerful resonance in contemporary Palestinian-Jewish relations in the State of Israel and in the act of narrating these stories, the author argues that the realm of memory is a site of commemoration and resistance.

Praise for the Book

'A powerful and much-needed oral history of the Nakba from the 'forgotten community' of Palestinian women who live on in Israel. Fatma Kassem not only gives these women back their voice, but bravely helps us to understand through her own difficulties as an academic why Israel wants their silence to continue.' - Jonathan Cook, author of Disappearing Palestine

'This is the first book to systematically analyse the life stories of Palestinian women in Israel, highlighting the important formative effect of the events of 1948. This book should be read by students and scholars of Palestine and Israel as well as all those who seek alternative solutions for peace with justice.' – Nicola Pratt, editor of Women and War in the Middle East

'Fatma Kassem's book brings critical attention to the difficult position of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Her extremely moving, interesting and well written book adds to existing historical accounts of the Nakba by documenting the gendered memory and narrative history of a previously silenced population, namely Palestinian women living inside Israel. However, her own family history and her personal experiences within Israeli academia are also crucial to this important book as they tell us a lot about the politics of knowledge production and the micro-politics of the Israeli state.' – Nadje Al-Ali, Professor of Gender Studies, Chair, Centre For Gender Studies, SOAS

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