A Young Palestinian's Diary, 1941-1945: The Life of Sami by Kimberly Katz, Salim Tamari

By Kimberly Katz, Salim Tamari

Writing in his past due kids and early twenties, Sami'Amr gave his diary an apt subtitle: "The conflict of Life", encapsulating either the political weather of Palestine within the waning years of the British Mandate in addition to the contrasting joys and problems of relatives lifestyles. Now translated from the Arabic, Sami's diary represents a unprecedented artefact of turbulent swap within the heart East. Written over 4 years, those ruminations of a tender guy from Hebron brim with revelations approximately everyday life opposed to a backdrop of great transition. Describing the general public and the personal, the trendy and the conventional, Sami muses on relationships, his station in lifestyles, and different common stories whereas sharing a number of information about a pivotal second in Palestine's glossy historical past. Making those never-before-published reflections to be had in translation, Kimberly Katz additionally offers illuminating context for Sami's phrases, laying out biographical info of Sami, who saved his diary inner most for with regards to sixty years. one in all a constrained variety of Palestinian diaries to be had to English-language readers, the diary of Sami'Amr bridges major chasms in our knowing of center jap, and especially Palestinian, heritage.

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Additional resources for A Young Palestinian's Diary, 1941-1945: The Life of Sami 'Amr (Jamal and Rania Daniel Series in Contemporary History, Politics, Culture, and Religion of the Levant)

Example text

40. ʿAlqām defines muḍāfa as “a central place in the life of an individual within a clan or family, socially speaking”; al-Intidāb al-barīṭānī, 43. 41. , 71. 42. Ayalon, Reading Palestine, 159. 43 Palestinian Arabs had an indigenous reading tradition, although literacy continued as the domain of the elite. With the spread of mass education under British rule, though uneven, more young people acquired literacy. Sāmī completed the education that was available to him, but when his family hit hard times, it seemed that Sāmī might be cut off from enhancing his knowledge.

21 Family interviews revealed that con- siderable cousin marriage took place among members of the ʿAmr family. This is a common practice in many parts of the world that has historical ties to the preservation of a family’s wealth. The couple lived in Hebron after they married, as Sāmī had again changed jobs to begin their marital life in their hometown. Sāmī’s mother later came to live with Sāmī and Suhayla until her death in 1975. Leaving Hebron Many branches of the ʿAmr family remain in Hebron, but Sāmī’s line dispersed, voluntarily at first, to take employment opportunities with the Jordanian government in the early 1960s.

World War I provided the unique circumstances that allowed the British takeover, as countries and govern- ments across the globe were drawn into the war to preserve their interests; in the early twentieth century, a period of high imperialism, these interests for some governments included the taking of territory. For much of the post–World War I period, Palestinian Arabs were recover- ing from the horrors of war, adjusting to the end of four hundred years of Muslim Ottoman rule, and resisting the Christian British rule that replaced it as well as resisting the Zionist Jewish colonization of Palestine that the Balfour Declaration of 1917 made possible.

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