'Muna Hamzeh has given us a unique insight into women's everyday life during the Al Aqsa Intifada - anger, sorrow, frustration fly off every page. This book is a slice of living history which will now never be forgotten.' Victoria Brittain 'Always compelling, [Hamzeh's writing] movingly conveys these tragedies, and how, in a tight-knit society on a small patch of land, they are all inter-connected.' The Financial Times The crisis in the Middle East dominates headlines. But what do we know about the people who are suffering? This remarkable book is a gripping eyewitness account of what it is like to live as a Palestinian - as a refugee in your own homeland. Born in Jerusalem, Muna Hamzeh is a journalist who has been writing about Palestinian affairs since 1985. She first worked as a journalist in Washington DC, but moved back to Palestine in 1989 to cover the first Palestine Intifada - the war of stones. She then settled in Dheisheh, near Bethlehem - one of 59 Palestinian refugee camps that are considered the oldest refugee camps in the world.
Immediately accessible and fully up-to-date, the first part of the book consists of a diary which Hamzeh wrote between October 4th and December 4th 2000, telling the story of the second Intifada. Facing the tanks and armed guards of one of the best-equipped armies in the world, the Palestinians have nothing. They fight back with stones. The anguish and terror that Muna and her friends face on daily basis is tangible. Who will be the next to die? Whose house will be the next to burn down? This deeply moving personal account brings to life the harsh realities of the Palestinian struggle. The second part of the book provides the background to these current events. It describes what life has been like for Dheisheh's refugees since 1990, and explains why the second Intifada was a natural development of the Oslo peace accord. Refugees in Our Own Land is a rare insider's look into the hearts and minds of Palestinian refugees. It is a tribute to the bravery of the Palestinian people, and a wake-up call to the world that has ignored so much of their struggle and their suffering.
Muna Hamzeh is a Palestinian-American journalist whose work on the Palestinian question has appeared in The Economist, Ha'aretz, The Christian Science Monitor, Jerusalem Report, and Middle East International, among others. Hamzeh was born in Jerusalem to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, both of whom were half Palestinian, half Lebanese. She lived in the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethelehm from 1988 - 2000. She is currently based at the Univeresity of Texas at Austin.
Introduction PART ONE 1. Ordinary Days in Dheisheh (2000) PART TWO 2. Farewell Washington (1988) 3. Welcome to Dheisheh (1990) 4. Urging on the Scuds (1991) 5. Diary of a Blockade (1993) 6. Fatima (1994) 7. Dheisheh will Never Fall Again (1995) 8. Where Is Peace? (1996) 9. When Time Stood Still (1996) 10. The French connection (1997) 11. The Glory of the Intifada (1997) 12. Where Do We Belong? (1997) 13. Remembering Our Dead (1997) 14. Where did Santa Go? (1998) 15. Male Vs. Female honor (1998) 16. Celebrating Independence (1998) 17. From Dheisheh to Jerusalem (1998) 18. Making it in a Man's World (1998) 19. Diving with a Splash (1998) 20. Life's four Seasons (1998) 21. Checkpoint Jerusalem (1999) 22. The Pope in Our Midst (2000)