In this ground-breaking memoir set in Ramallah during the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, lbtisam Barakat captures what it is like to be a child whose world is shattered by war. With candour and courage, she stitches together memories of her childhood: fear and confusion as bombs explode near her home; the harshness of life as a Palestinian refugee; her unexpected joy when she discovers Alef, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. This is the beginning of her passionate connection to words, and as language becomes her refuge, allowing her to piece together the fragments of her world, it becomes her true home. Transcending the particulars of politics, this illuminating and timely book provides a telling glimpse into a little known culture that has become an increasingly important part of the puzzle of world peace.
Ibtisam Barakat is the author of Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood, which received three starred reviews and was the winner of the Arab American National Museum Book Award. She is also a poet, speaker, and social justice advocate, especially in the lives of children and teens. She was born in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, grew up in Ramallah, Palestine, and currently lives in Columbia, Missouri.