By Raja Shehadeh
The search for his great-uncle Najib Nassar, an Ottoman journalist – the main points of his existence, and the direction of his nice get away from occupied Palestine – ate up award-winning author Raja Shehadeh for 2 years. As he strains Najib’s footsteps, he discovers that at the present time it might be most unlikely to escape the cage that Palestine has turn into. A Rift in Time is a kin memoir written in luminescent prose, however it is additionally a mirrored image on how Palestine – particularly the disputed Jordan Rift Valley – has been remodeled. so much of Palestine’s historical past and that of its humans is buried deep within the floor: entire villages have disappeared and names were erased from the map. but via seeing the larger photo of the panorama and the endless fight for freedom as Shehadeh does, it really is nonetheless attainable to seem in the direction of a greater destiny, unfastened from Israeli or Ottoman oppression.
“A paintings of passionate polemic, visiting, background, and autobiography, this hugely unique attention of the Palestinian-Israeli factor is based round a chain of lively, attentive hikes throughout the occupied territories.”—The New Yorker
“Raja Shehadeh’s Palestinian Walks presents a unprecedented ancient perception into the tragic alterations occurring in Palestine.” —President Jimmy Carter
“Towards any right realizing of heritage there are lots of small paths. This continually incredible booklet modestly describes strolling alongside convinced paths that have touched the lived lives of 2 millennia. Its jogging advisor is an aged guy who confesses; his confessions usually stumble upon a perennial knowledge, and what he's conversing approximately and strolling throughout is likely one of the nodal issues of the world’s current obstacle. I strongly recommend you stroll with him.”—John Berger , writer of how of Seeing
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Additional info for A Rift in Time: Travels with My Ottoman Uncle
Unlike Najib, I cannot look from this high cliff and see myself beyond the present borders. My field of vision stops at the Golan Heights, at the border between Israel and Syria that I’ve never been able to cross, and as matters stand never will. When I go to visit A’yn Anoub, Najib’s village in the Lebanese mountains, as I intend to, I will not be able to take the short route that the Nassars did when they relocated to Haifa in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. I’ll first have to travel east to Jordan in order to go north-west to Lebanon.
They were hanged in the central square in Beirut, which came to be known as Sahat al Shuhada (Martyrs’ Square). Their bodies were left hanging for weeks, clad in white djellabas fluttering with the wind, with flies swarming all over their bent and broken necks. Najib’s friend Salim al Ahmad Abdulhadi was hanged on the morning of 21 August 1915 after a brief military show trial. The news of his death profoundly shocked Najib and he decided he must leave Nazareth. He asked his friend Sheikh Mahmoud Tabari (so called after Tiberias, which in Arabic is Tabariah) for a horse and was given a sturdy steed.
It had life – smells and sounds. You knew you were passing a farm. You smelt the smoke of their taboun oven. You heard the loud voices of the mothers calling their children and the crowing of the cock asserting his presence and, yes, the annoying semi-wild dog that pursued you, barking all the way. Somewhere nearby was the railway station where the train arriving from Damascus stopped on its way to Haifa. From here to Damascus it could not have taken longer than two hours by train. Before ending his letter to his mother, Lawrence laments the demise of Roman rule, when ‘Palestine was a decent country’.
A Rift in Time: Travels with My Ottoman Uncle by Raja Shehadeh