Life Stories

Sada, living in Dheisha, 120 years old

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 19.05.2008:


Interview by Jane Toby

Salaam Aleikum.

My name is Sada. Sada means happiness. My father said “If my wife will bring a girl, I will call her Happiness.”

I am 120 years old. I live in Dheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. When it rains, the house is full of water.

I was born in Turkey. My father used to fight with the Turkish a(...)

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Hend, from Al-Walaja near Bethlehem

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 19.05.2008:


Interview by Jane Toby

The village I come from is called Al-Walaja Village. When I left my village, I was very young: I was only one year and six months old. My sister was 6 years old. We left at night under fire. It was the time of the Nakba.

The Israeli soldiers were shooting at us. My mother carried me in her arms and ran very(...)

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Abu-Yaser Recalls Life in Tel el-Safi

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 04.05.2008:

UNRWA Commemorates 1948: Abu-Yaser Recalls Life in Tel el-Safi

By Vicky Samantha Rossi and Tarek Z. Ismail

A handwritten note on Abu-Yaser’s office door is a stark daily reminder that on 8 July 1948, he and his family were forced to leave their home in Tel el-Safi and have never been allowed to return. Abu-Yaser now lives in Dheisheh Refugee Camp.

Abu-Yaser recalls that l(...)

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Najwa Ahmed, a Palestinian refugee in Khan Younis

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 04.05.2008:

UNRWA Commemorates 1948: My Father’s Lost Paradise

By Najwa Sheikh Ahmed

I am a Palestine refugee who was born in Khan Younis Refugee Camp in the southern Gaza Strip. To me Khan Younis is home. It’s the place of my childhood friends and my memories. For a long time, I never thought or cared about my origins. To me al-Majdal, where my parents and grandparents come from, meant lit(...)

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Ramzt Baroud’s father

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 06.04.2008:

My Father Died Alone in Gaza

There are No Checkpoints in Heaven



Copied from a mailing of Sam Bahour

I still vividly remember my father's face - wrinkled, apprehensive, warm - as he last wished me farewell fourteen years ago. He stood outside the rusty door of my family's home(...)

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Ishaq al-Shami, Arab Jew

Contributed by Jerusalem Quarterly on 24.01.2008:

Ishaq al-Shami and the Predicament of the Arab Jew in Palestine

Salim Tamari


Jerusalem Quarterly

August 2004, issue 21

In his retrospective personal memoirs of the 1930s and 40s, Ta’ir 3ala Sindiyanah (Bird on an Oak Tree), the Lebanese historian Kamal Salibi discusses two groups of Jewish companions he encountered during his student days during the (...)

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A Palestinian child in a Syrian refugee camp

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 13.12.2007:

The photo shows a life story

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This Is Me! By Dina Meo

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 06.12.2007:

OK, here’s my life, people … On school days, Dad usually wakes me up at about 6:30. I get up, I need five minutes to freshen up, I go brush my teeth and wash my face, then I put on my school uniform. It’s either mum or dad who makes me my sandwich, so when I get ready for school, I go and take my sandwich and go downstairs to wait for the school bus, which comes at 7:00 sharp. When the bus ar(...)

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Mazin Sukkar, taxi driver

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 06.12.2007:

Working for Nothing Except Setting a Good Example

By Mazin Sukkar

As I drive my taxi every day in Gaza, I often think of the training course I took to learn the fundamentals of driving before receiving a permit to be able to serve the public. The three-month course emphasized two basic notions: “drivers” who need to be fully aware of how they conduct themselves on the road, and (...)

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Prisoner of War: Yusif Sayigh, 1948 to 1949

Contributed by Jerusalem Quarterly on 02.12.2007:

Excerpts from his recollections

As told to and edited by Rosemary Sayigh


Jerusalem Quarterly

Winter 2007

Issue 29

The Jerusalem Quarterly published in its fall 2006 issue the first of two instalments of Yusif Sayigh’s recollections describing his work in Jerusalem with the Arab Fund until much of Jerusalem was taken by Jewish fighters in 1948. Thi(...)

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