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A Palestinian memoir to counter Trump’s troubles in the Middle East

Headshot of Yousef Bashir

Yousef Bashir, an alum of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, is an unlikely peace-builder at one of the darkest times in the elusive effort to end the conflict in the Middle East. He was eleven when the second intifada erupted, in 2000, and the Israel Defense Forces took over the family farm in Gaza. The property—rich with date and olive trees, beehives for honey, and gardens of eggplants, hot peppers, and tomatoes—had been in the family for at least three hundred years, and Bashir’s father, Khalil, refused to move. “My father was as much in love with his land as he was with my mother,” Bashir recalls in his remarkable new memoir, “The Words of My Father.” “And he loved both of them deeply.” During the next five years their home was turned into a military post, with twenty to a hundred soldiers occupying the second and third floors at any given time. “They smashed holes through the upstairs walls to set up gun positions,” Bashir writes. “They covered all the windows with camouflage netting and installed automatic machine guns at each corner of the roof.”

Read the full story featured in the New Yorker.

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