Palestine children: Returning to Haifa and other stories Essay

Published: 2019-11-30 09:00:53
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Category: Childhood

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The Middle East culture is based on civilization dating back to ancient times. For instance science, arts, written language, mathematics, a legal system and other civilizations that thrived in ancient Sumer, Persia, Egypt and other parts of Middle East. Some influence was left on later cultures of Greece and Rome. Middle East today has a rich cultural contribution to the three major world religions, the entertainment industry, a tradition of folklore music and dance and a growing economic power base.

The book was written by Glassan Kahafani who was a spokesman for the Popular Front for Liberation of the Palestinian people and also the founder editor of the Al -Hadaf magazine. The book focuses on Palestinian children who became victims of displacement, immigration and occupation until they became participants and leaders of the resistance movements so that they would get a better future. It gives experiences of the conflict in Palestine that made the children in the Middle East languish in poverty for the better part of the twentieth century.

The book depicts the political, social and human realities of the Palestinian people between1936-1967 (Kanafani, Ghassan p. 187) The books title is in line with Kanafanis belief that Palestinians salvation lies in the younger group of people and also a true reflection of his feelings and love for children. It also provides an insight of children in their daily challenges with poverty and a life of occupation. He is able to highlight the plight of children having he himself gone through a life of displacement, hunger and deprivation during his childhood in the 1948 tragedy.

The conflict of the Palestinians and the Zionists is also brought out in the stories in their identities, languages and class strife. It brings out life in refugee camps where the children succumbed to political and ideological shifts due enduring traumas of war. The book also provides fourteen other stories which include; the child who borrows his uncles gun and goes east to Safad; Doctor Quassim talks to Eva about Mansur who arrived in Safad and Citadel at Jaddin form a sequence where Mansur a seventeen year old boy is the protagonist. All these short stories highlight the importance of a gun in achieving manhood for a Palestinian youth.

Another place where a gun is used as a protagonist is in the story of Citadel where he writes that a father sacrifices his olive tree, family income and life to participate in an attack so that he could get the gun as a wedding gift to his son on his wedding night. The gun is also described as similar to measles which when it gets to a child, then it means that life has just began and that life is guaranteed thereafter (Kanafani, Ghassan p. 187). According to Kanafani, Ghassan he stated that there was a generational gap between the Palestinian populations.

This was observed due to an explosion of anger amongst the older people when they saw that the young ones had succeeded in fighting for a just and national cause. While returning to Haifa the older people are described as having made a mistake by having looked behind into the past instead of looking at the future ahead of them. It summarizes that the Palestinians had a personal responsibility in their own plight due to their own shortcomings and succumbing to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Lastly, the book explains how they lost their homeland and the need to recover what they lost in the past through actions.

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