I Was Born There, I Was Born Here Summary and Reviews

I Was Born There, I Was Born Here

by Mourid Barghouti

I Was Born There, I Was Born Here by Mourid Barghouti X
I Was Born There, I Was Born Here by Mourid Barghouti
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  • Published Jul 2012
    240 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

In 1996, award-winning Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti returned to his home for the first time since his exile - first in Egypt, then in Hungary - following the Six-Day War in 1967, and wrote I Saw Ramallah, a poignant and acclaimed memoir of the exile's lot. A few years later, he returned to the Occupied Territories to introduce his Cairo-born son, Tamim, to his Palestinian family. Soon after returning to Egypt, Tamim was arrested for taking part in a demonstration against the impending Iraq War, and ironically was held not only in the same Cairo prison his father had occupied before being expelled from Egypt when Tamim was a baby, but in the very same cell. Tamim then felt the same sting of exile as he was banished from Egypt.

Explaining to his son, and to the world, the life decisions he has made, I Was Born There, I Was Born Here illuminates the path of exile across generations. Ranging freely back and forth in time between the 1990s and the present, Barghouti poignantly recalls Palestinian history and daily life while expressing the meaning of home and the importance of being able to say, standing in a small village in Palestine, "I was born here," rather than saying from exile, "I was born there." His elegant and expressive prose, beautifully rendered in Humphrey Davies' sensitive translation, is full of life and humor in the face of a culture of death. I Was Born There, I Was Born Here is destined, like its predecessor, to become a classic.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Barghouti vividly describes the Palestinian sense of 'invisibility' juxtaposed with Israeli aggression to portray an untenable yet fiercely ongoing state of flux and conflict." - Publishers Weekly

"A moving picture of one man's personal grief and undying anger." - Kirkus Reviews

"[M]editative and pointed; for anyone interested in the Middle East." - Library Journal

This information about I Was Born There, I Was Born Here was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Mourid Barghouti

Mourid Barghouti was born in 1944 near Ramallah. He has published thirteen books of poetry in Arabic including a Collected Works (1997) and received the Palestine Award for Poetry in 2000. A selection of his poetry, Midnight and Other Poems, was published in English in 2008. He lives in Cairo with his wife, the novelist and critic Radwa Ashour. Visit him online at www.mouridbarghouti.net.

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