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Mornings in Jenin (2006)

by Susan Abulhawa

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9096119,762 (3.99)141
Palestine, 1948. A mother clutches her six-month-old son as Israeli soldiers march through the village of Ein Hod. In a split second, her son is snatched from her arms and the fate of the Abulheja family is changed forever. Forced into a refugee camp in Jenin and exiled from the ancient village that is their lifeblood, the family struggles to rebuild their world. Their stories unfold through the eyes of the youngest sibling, Amal, the daughter born in the camp who will eventually find herself alone in the United States; the eldest son who loses everything in the struggle for freedom; the stolen son who grows up as an Israeli, becoming an enemy soldier to his own brother. Mornings in Jenin is a devastating novel of love and loss, war and oppression, and heartbreak and hope, spanning five countries and four generations of one of the most intractable conflicts of our lifetime.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
A rarely told Palestinian story (though perhaps more of their stories have been told since this was written). Heartbreaking on two levels especially, what these people experienced, and that they experienced it at the hands of people who one would hope and wish had kept bloodless hands. There is no denial in this novel that the Palestinians have blood on their hands too.

Abulhawa witnessed some of these events, and witnessed the denial of them by the UN and others. Knowing there would be denial of the contents of her novel, she quoted from the works of respected historians in a few areas. But this is a novel, a story of one family and their neighbours and friends.

It wrung my heart at the end when one young Palestinian is given a visa to study in the US, and writes home to say that he can't believe what life is like living somewhere there is no war. At the current time, we too should be remembering this. But then there is always war somewhere, and many of those wars go unacknowledged by those of us in safety. ( )
1 vote Caroline_McElwee | Apr 2, 2022 |
I feel like a stupid American. A really stupid American. Of course I've been aware of the Arab/Israeli conflict for decades but this gut wrenching book brought so much to the forefront, in graphic, horrifying detail that just tore my heart out. Read for Paul's Middle East Challenge, this book has been sitting on my shelf since 2011 and I'm so glad I finally read it because it was eye opening and even though it is fiction, the author had so many sources to verify the facts she presented in the book.

Forced to live their lives in a refugee camp in Jenin after continual bombing and attacks, not for months but for years and years after their land and home were taken from them, Amal and her family and friends suffer in numerous and terrible ways. Heartbreaking, and relevant to this day. ( )
  brenzi | Feb 10, 2022 |
The message and themes in this book sometimes overshadowed the narrative, but there is no denying that it is a powerful and tragic story ( )
  Iudita | Dec 26, 2021 |
It is hard to put words together to form a review for this book. I cried a lot, I smiled a lot too. Every now and then I had to put the book down to research a certain fact or a historical event and it was always mentioned correctly.
I loved that the story gave varied examples of Panestinian characters, the good and the bad and the hurt and the broken and the strong and the unconditionally loving. I loved that it also showed various examples of Israeli characters. This aspect made the Book very real to me.
There are times when I just couldn't put the Book down and other times when I had to close it, look at the sky and think. Wait for my tears to dry before I could pick it up again.
This is a must read. ( )
  Douna1980 | Sep 3, 2021 |
Reading this book in the middle of what is going on in the Middle East right now was difficult, but this book is very well done. 4.5 stars. The Abulhejas are forced out of their village and home, and herded along with others into a refugee camp in Jenin, losing everything from their simple, beautiful Palestinian village of Ein Hod. Amal is born in the camp to the bookish, Hasan, and his beautiful Bedouin wife, Dalia. Much of the family's misery is created by the kidnapping by an Israeli soldier of her older brother, Ismael, taken from his mother's arms, and grows up in a Jewish home as David. In 1967, Amal experiences hides in a hole in the ground with her best friend, an event that will forever change her family's life. Her father who wants an education for her is never seen again, her mother slips into dementia, and her older brother Yousef will soon leave to join the resistance.

Amal moves away, starting in a orphanage, and then moving to the U.S. on a scholarship, after falling in love and getting pregnant She experiences western life and the contradictions it poses for Palestinians, like herself. She and daughter Sara eventually travel to a refugee camp in Lebanon to reconnect with her brother. Just as stability seems to be coming back to her life, tragedy strikes again. Abulhawa's writing is compelling and powerful.
( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
The everyday life of cramped conditions, poverty, restriction, and the fear of soldiers, guns, checkpoints and beatings, would have been enough to make the novel unforgettable, but Abulhawa's writing also shines, at best assured and unsentimental.
 
Mornings in Jenin (Susan Abulhawa)
This book is the story of Amal Abulheja and her family spanning 54 years. It starts in 1948 when the family is removed from their home in Ein Hod and forced to live as refugees in Jenin. It is a tragic tale of war and loss, yet is also a story of family bonding, love and dedication.

Amal goes through war and conflict between Palestine (Muslims) and Israel (Jewish). She is a strong proud woman, with tragedy following her. The vivid detail of war and terror is heart felt and grabbed me by the heart. It is difficult for one to imagine to live as refuges, with curfews and fear, bombs gunfire and death. The graphic detail of the treatment of the refuges, especially the children was heart wrenching. All the lives lost is saddening. This story left an impression. One that makes me want peace within the world, more than ever before. How this will happen, I have no clue.

I admit I know little of the conflict between Palestine & Israel and I suppose most of the world does not understand, nor know as well. (I could be wrong, but it is my opinion). I found this an unforgettable read. I highly recommend Mornings In Jenin and would love to read more by Ms. Abulhawa.
added by SheriAWilkinson | editPrinceton, Il., Sheri A Wilkinson (Dec 13, 1901)
 
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For Natalie, and for Seif
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Amal wanted a closer look into the soldier's eyes, but the muzzle of his automatic rifle, pressed against her forehead, would not allow it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Mornings in Jenin was also published as The Scar of David.
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Palestine, 1948. A mother clutches her six-month-old son as Israeli soldiers march through the village of Ein Hod. In a split second, her son is snatched from her arms and the fate of the Abulheja family is changed forever. Forced into a refugee camp in Jenin and exiled from the ancient village that is their lifeblood, the family struggles to rebuild their world. Their stories unfold through the eyes of the youngest sibling, Amal, the daughter born in the camp who will eventually find herself alone in the United States; the eldest son who loses everything in the struggle for freedom; the stolen son who grows up as an Israeli, becoming an enemy soldier to his own brother. Mornings in Jenin is a devastating novel of love and loss, war and oppression, and heartbreak and hope, spanning five countries and four generations of one of the most intractable conflicts of our lifetime.

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Four generations of a Palestinian family struggle to survive during more than sixty years of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, finding themselves on both sides of the fighting.
Við stofnun Ísraelsríkis 1948 er palestínsk fjölskylda hrakin úr þorpinu þar sem ættin hefur búið öldum saman og í kjölfarið finnur hún sér hæli í flóttamannabúðunum í Jenín. Á leiðinni hverfur eitt barnanna, ungur drengur sem elst upp í gyðingdómi, en bróðir hans fórnar öllu fyrir málstað Palestínumanna. Systirin Amal flyst til Bandaríkjanna en snýr aftur og kynnist ást, missi og hefndarþorsta. Saga fjölskyldunnar er saga palestínsku þjóðarinnar, flóttamanna í sextíu ár – einlæg og mannleg frásögn sem oft hefur verið líkt við Flugdrekahlauparann.Susan Abulhawa er sjálf barn palestínskra flóttamanna en fluttist til Bandaríkjanna á unglingsárum. Bókin, sem bregður nýju ljósi á deilurnar við botn Miðjarðarhafs, hefur þegar vakið mikla athygli og verið gefin út í fjölmörgum löndum.
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