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Remember Gaza, Read the Book, Tell the Story
Friday, 08 January 2010 13:32
“And so I begin.  His name was Mohammed Baroud, and he was a good man,” is how Ramzy Baroud concludes the Foreword to his new book, and embarks on a chronicle so rare and so powerful that the book promises to redefine the way the Gaza story is told.

On December 27, 2009, Ramzy Baroud’s new book, My Father Was A Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story, was released in London by Pluto Press, to coincide with the first anniversary of Israel’s so-called Operation Cast Lead, which killed and wounded thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, the vast majority of whom were civilians.

As the frontline in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Gaza is constantly reported as a place of violence and terror.  Ramzy Baroud's memoir explores the daily lives of the people in that turbulent region: the complex human beings -- revolutionaries, mothers and fathers, lovers, and comedians -- who make Gaza so much more than just a disputed territory.  At the heart of Baroud's tale is the story of his father, who, driven out of his village to a refugee camp, took up arms to fight the Occupation while trying to raise a family.

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Reviewers are already raving:

"Ramzy Baroud has written a deeply moving chronicle of the persisting Palestinian ordeal that manages to interweave and bring to life the heart-wrenching experience of his family, particularly the heroics of his father, with the daily cruelties of the prolonged Israeli occupation of Gaza, the frequent horrors of refugee existence, and the disillusioning futility of seeking an end to a bloody conflict that goes on and on.  This book more than any I have read tells me why anyone of conscience must stand in solidarity with the continuing struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and a just peace."

-- Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, and Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestinian Territories, UN Human Rights Council

"This is a very fine book: both a loving tribute to the author's father and the struggle and pain of Palestine seen through the witness and insights of two generations.  Together, they beckon freedom."

-- John Pilger, award-winning journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker

"Ramzy Baroud provides a riveting account of his father's life and a compelling narrative of his people's history.  It is the story of Exodus, but told from the view of the Palestinians on shore as the ship arrived.  A narrative we have listened to time and again over sweet tea in Gaza, it is available now to those who cannot travel to Palestine.  This book should be read by all who struggle to understand the Middle East and to find passage to a just peace in the region."

-- Cindy and Craig Corrie, The Rachel Corrie Foundation

“The Baroud family's proud history stands as a symbol of Palestinian resistance since 1948, making this book a must-read for anyone who wants to know why Palestine will forever be in the hearts of the young and the memories of the old.”

-- Greta Berlin, co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement

"Ramzy Baroud is a gifted writer.  His book is one of the few books, written in English about the life, depopulation and struggle for survival (literally) of the people of a village in south Palestine.  He portrays their ordeal in over six decades, with no end in sight for their suffering.  Gathered patiently from the recollections of the survivors, it stands out as an unblemished depiction of their plight.  No amount of spin could obliterate that, or could deny the indefatigable persistence of Palestinians to survive and struggle to return home.  In writing this book, Ramzy himself, the exiled son of that village, is proof of this persistence."

-- Salman Abu Sitta, author and historian, Founder and President of Palestine Land Society, London

"Ramzy Baroud's sensitive, thoughtful, searching writing penetrates to the core of moral dilemmas that their intended audiences evade at their peril.  Few are spared his perceptive eye, and only the morally callous will fail to respond to his pleas to look into the mirror honestly, to question comforting beliefs that protect us from facing our elementary responsibilities, and to act to remedy the terrible misery and injustice that he exposes to our view, as we surely can."

-- Noam Chomsky

My Father Was A Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story is the latest book by Palestinian-American journalist, author, and former Al-Jazeera producer Ramzy Baroud.  Baroud is Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle, and his work has been published in hundreds of newspapers and journals worldwide.  His 2002 book, Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion has received international recognition.  His 2006 book, The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London) has won the praise of many scholars worldwide.

Baroud’s eagerly anticipated new book is now available from the publisher and other book venues.

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