Stranger in My Own Land w/ Fida Jiryis

18 May 2024 – 13:30 - 15:00 BST
Awraq Festival
Bristol’s Palestine Museum, 27 Broad St, Bristol BS1 2HG

Head to Awraq Festival for an enriching conversation with Palestinian writer and editor, Fida Jiryis, who will be calling in online from the Galilee. Fida will talk about her memoir Stranger In My Own Land.

Noam Chomsky writes about Fida’s book: ‘This wrenching and inspiring tale of violence and courageous resistance, told through the eyes of a remarkable Palestinian family, vividly portrays a living example of what Adam Smith memorably called “the savage injustice of the Europeans”.’ This event offers a unique opportunity to gain deeper insight into the Palestinian experience and history, as Fida shares her firsthand perspectives and reflections. The conversation will be followed by Q&A with the author.

About the book

After the 1993 Oslo Accords, a handful of Palestinians were allowed to return to their hometowns in Israel. Fida Jiryis and her family were among them.

This beautifully written memoir tells the story of their journey, which is also the story of Palestine, from the Nakba to the present—a seventy-five-year tale of conflict, exodus, occupation, return and search for belonging, seen through the eyes of one writer and her family. Jiryis reveals how her father, Sabri, a PLO leader and advisor to Yasser Arafat, chose exile in 1970 because of his work. Her own childhood in Beirut was shaped by regional tensions, the Lebanese Civil War and the 1982 Israeli invasion, which led to her mother’s death. Thirteen years later, the family made an unexpected return to Fassouta, their village of origin in the Galilee. But Fida, twenty-two years old and full of love for her country, had no idea what she was getting into.

Stranger in My Own Land chronicles a desperate, at times surreal, search for a homeland between the Galilee, the West Bank and the diaspora, asking difficult questions about what the right of return would mean for the millions of Palestinians waiting to come ‘home’.

About the author

Fida Jiryis is a Palestinian writer and editor living in the Galilee. Born in Lebanon, she lived there and in Cyprus before returning to Palestine after the Oslo Accords. Her published works include Stranger in My Own Land (Hurst, 2022); three collections of Arabic short stories, and a contribution to Kingdom of Olives and Ash, a Washington Post bestseller on fifty years of Israeli occupation. Fida’s work was also featured in BeLashon Kruta (Amputated Tongue), a Hebrew anthology of Palestinian literature.

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