The London-based publisher, Pluto Press has decided to move forward the date of a book about Gaza to coincide with the first anniversary of the Israeli war on the Strip, which began on December 27, and lasted for 22 days.
The book, My Father was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story, was scheduled to be released in London in January, and in the US and the rest of the world in March.
“I am quite pleased with the news,” said Ramzy Baroud, the book’s author, a syndicated columnist and the editor of the Palestine Chronicle. “My book is a people’s history of Gaza, a tribute to the Palestinian men and women of the Strip who, generation after generation continued to define their own destiny, despite every attempt at crushing their resistance.”
Gaza’s Untold Story begins at a small village in southern Palestine, which is located in today’s Israel. The book follows the path of a particular family, the author’s own, as it was forced out of its home in the village, following several fierce battles between the villagers and Zionist militias. The family was forced to the Gaza Strip, where it resisted and struggled for survival until this day, under the harshest of circumstances.
The father’s author, the hero in his son’s book, encountered many tragic events his life and died in the Strip in 2008 without being allowed access to proper medical care. “My father lived his entire life and died an honorable man. This book is his story, and the story of my people, millions of refugees who continue to resist, and with their resistance delineated a course of history that defied every political logic, every military wisdom,” said Baroud.
Famed UN envoy Richard Falk praised the book. “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,” wrote Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University and Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestinian Territories, UN Human Right Council.
Baroud’s memoir explores the daily lives of the people in the 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.
“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 and documentary filmmaker commented.
Rarely does a book tell the story of Gaza is so vivid a narrative, and from the viewpoint of the poor villages of Palestine, some book critics observed. “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,” wrote Cindy and Craig Corrie of The Rachel Corrie Foundation.
The book, available for preorders through Amazon and other online outlets, is published by Pluto Press (PlutoBooks.com) and distributed in the US by Palgrave Macmillan.