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3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  724 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
Pouco antes da fundação do Estado de Israel, em 1948, Hind Husseini, uma jovem palestiniana, encontra um grupo de cerca de cinquenta crianças abandonadas. Responsabiliza-se por elas e funda um orfanato para crianças palestinianas, Dar El-Tifel. Miral, a protagonista desta obra, foi uma das muitas crianças que ao longo dos anos receberam a protecção e o afecto de Hind e da ...more
Paperback, Large Print, 276 pages
Published June 16th 2011 by Editorial Presença (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 13, 2011 Alyssa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and 100% recommend it as a must read for everyone--particularly Americans who are either living in blissful ignorance about the history and root conflict in the Palestinian/Israel region and, even more, individuals who have blindly accepted one biased side of the story (either throwing all support behind the actions of the Israeli government or agreeing, in theory, with the rage of the extremist Palestinians). It is not so simple, and while it is easy to label one side as terro ...more
Jul 16, 2015 Sue rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sue by: MENA
I feel a bit bad about rating this so poorly. I started the book and had hopes for it. It's not the story that I disliked but the writing and after a short time I realized that the style almost aggravated me so I stopped and won't go back.

The story had much potential if dealt with well...saving orphaned children after the forcible removal, and murder, of Arabs living in what was to become Israel in 1948.
This book has been getting a lot of attention because it is about to be released as a movie, so I was anxious to read it. Also, the setting is Jerusalem and the plot centers on the Israeli-Palestine conflict, a subject with which I’m not very familiar and want to know better. Miral is a young Palestinian woman growing up in occupied Jerusalem who has a passion for her people and their plight to recover their homeland. She begins her political activism by sneaking out of her boarding school to at ...more
Jim Fonseca
Sep 06, 2015 Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's tough growing up as a Palestinian in Israel. This book takes us back through the reminiscences of a "grande dame" of the Palestinian people who started an orphanage for girls homeless by political violence that eventually grew into a school for women leaders in Palestine. While the book has a pro-Palestinian bias and cites many travesties by the Israelis, it is not an anti-Israel screed. It shows respect for Israeli liberals who support Palestine and worked with the Palestinians in demonstr ...more
Assma Habadi
First starting with the language that the novel was written in, it was not that good, not a story telling tone, and not flawless.
To the rhythm of the story. The main story did not start until you read one third of it. There are also parts where you can feel bored.
The story itself was somehow good, though as a Arab i would say that the writer was denying some facts. The story, I would say, was written by western way of thinking making the Jews seem lessharmful than what they really are.
The endi
Sep 01, 2013 Kev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miral tells the story of the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict through the eyes of several different characters. The stories are intertwined to give the reader a sense of connection as well as setting the tone that one's actions can have an immense effect on others, whether positive or negative.
The book was extremely better than the movie in my opinion. The movie was good, but with the time constrants and probably the budget, there was no way to fit everything in.
Miral really helped me understand
Apr 20, 2011 Kkraemer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I learned some things from this novelized memoir, but either the writer or the translator lacked the knowledge of English that would allow this book to read well or dramatically. Lots of long sentences that meandered to their ends, giving the whole thing a flat sense, devoid of drama or emphasis.
Stephanie Anze
Rating a book that is based on real life usually proves to be challenge for me. How can one person judge another person''s life? Having said that, Miral was just not all that the reviews promised. It falls flat quite a bit and it takes too long to get to Miral's part of the story. Had the plot have been more focused on Hind herself, it would have been better, a huge improvement. Without personally knowing Hind, the reader knows she is a brave, fearless woman. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book ...more
Sep 11, 2014 Jumana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure if it is the writing, or the translation, but the book is simply not a compelling read. The author attempts to take on complex historical and moral issues, but isn't able to convey any new insights. Most problematically, the author tries to make the characters seem human by telling us about them, rather than revealing their personalities through actions and dialogue. Really, the storyline is barely worth one star. But the importance of the subject matter requires another star, in m ...more
Steph (loves water)
I really liked it! I believe this book to be autobiographical in nature, and I applaud Rula Jebreal for her courage, honesty, and bravery growing up Palestinian in Jerusalem. It's true, she makes no apologies for her characters, there is no in-depth analysis of her protagonists, and no bleeding heart ramblings of extremist belief. There is merely an honest portrayal of human beings caught in spiral of something beyond an individual's control.
Jolene Gilbert-Bruno
The story was good and enlightening, but i think suffered from translation issues. Characters were introduced only to never be heard from again, and plot points advanced too little or too much. In the end, I felt like the book did the job of humanizing and helping me understand the underrepresented story of Palestinians, but did little to make me recommend to a friend.
Jan 26, 2011 Jodi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wanted to read before the movie comes out. It was good, but something was lacking, perhaps lost in translation.
Vickie Mansour-hasan
I loved this book. It shows the very human struggles of Palestinians under the inhumane Israeli apartheid.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
Η Rula Jebreal είναι μια πολλή γνωστή δημοσιογράφος. Γεννημένη στη Χάιφα του Ισραήλ και έχοντας βιώσει ως Παλαιστίνια τον τρόμο και την αγωνία του πολέμου στη χώρα της, έχει δώσει μεγάλους αγώνες για την ειρήνη στον τόπο της αλλά και για την δημιουργία ενός κράτους όπου Ισραηλινοί και Παλαιστίνιοι θα μπορούσαν να ζήσουν χωρίς τον φόβο του θανάτου, που θα μπορούσαν να είναι ελεύθεροι. Η ιστορία της Μιράλ δεν είναι απλά μια φανταστική ιστορία αλλά, μια αφήγηση της δικιάς της ζωής από τότε που στα ...more
Apr 09, 2011 DubaiReader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-bk-grp, 2011
A young girl's life in a Palestinian children's home.

Ms Jebreal is a journalist and I found the first half of the book read very much like an extended newspaper article. This section covered the lives of Hind Husseini and several of Miral's relatives. However, once I reached the story of Miral herself, the whole feel of the book changed and became much more immediate; evoking more reaction from myself as a reader.

Hind Husseini, whose school Miral attended for much of her childhood, was an amazin
Meneesha Govender
Hind Husseini is a woman on a mission.
In 1948 she comes across 50 orphans in the streets of Jerusalem. They have fled a massacre in their village – Deir Yassin – and are terrified and haunted.
Hind decides to give them sanctuary first at her home and later at the Dal El-Tifel school and orphanage.
So starts an extraordinary true-life story of one woman’s drive and passion for the forgotten children of Jerusalem and the stories of many of the children she has a hand in raising.
This story is the ba
Aug 12, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was haunting, heartfelt and worlds better than the movie (though that often goes without saying). Like others have stated the general progression of the story and language used (stylistically) wasn't always fluid (which I honestly think can be attributed more so to the work of the translator, than the actual author's words), but all in all I was really moved by Miral and reading about a conflict that sadly continues to rage on. The only element of the story that was left enti ...more
Jun 06, 2011 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miral tells the story of the Palestinean/Israeli conflict through the eyes of a young woman who comes of age during the violence in Jerusalem. Miral and her sister are raised in an orphanage by a Hind, an Arab woman who works hard to provide all the lost children of Jerusalem a safe place to grow up. To keep the orphanage safe and funded she walks a very careful and neutral political line. So when young Miral begins to participate in demonstrations and get involved with militant student organiza ...more
I loved the content of this story - but I feel that the fact that the writer was a journalist got in the way of her storytelling, because everything was very factual and "this happened and then this happened" I also felt like it didn't really end...I would have liked to see more of what shape Miral's life took after all the political turmoil. Maybe she's setting it up for a sequel? Also, if anyone else has read this, is this partially autibiographical? I know Rula Jebreal spent her childhood at ...more
Izzy Jarvis
Dec 31, 2012 Izzy Jarvis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Miral. It was not a long book and it didn't take long to finish. Miral as a character can become a bit frustrating. She is incredibly headstrong and at times it made me mad how stubborn she was even in the face of people who wanted good things for her. She's a lovable character in a sad and melodramatic plot. If tragic deaths and harrowing mental pictures of human suffering are not for you then you might reconsider reading this book.

I picked it up at a thrift store and became interest
A. S.
May 31, 2011 A. S. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miral by Rula Jebreal was a fascinating study in how borders can tear families and friends apart. I really enjoyed it. However, the beginning is a bit slow; while I thought it was interesting to know how Miral came to be motherless, I thought the story could have been edited. We'd still know how much sadness her mother felt at her situation, but the readers wouldn't be left wondering how long it'd take to get to the title character's POV.

Miral basically grows up to see that Palestinians are bein
Novels written by news reporters are always difficult for me. There's a distinct writing style and tone and cadence to a short article (even a 20pp story/article on Salon) from that of a novel, and it kind of irritates me to read a novel written in that article speak (if you get my drift here). I find it's more telling than showing, and it gets me bogged down and taken out of the story instead of getting absorbed into it.

To be fair, once the story got rolling, and we left behind the biographical
Hazel Elizabeth
I could see how this book could be a compelling movie, but unfortunately it doesn't resonate as much in print. It's a feel good story (or about as feel good as any story about a stateless and ravaged nation can get) about a Palestinian girl who grows up and away from extremism. Jebreal's writing is stark and plain, but that style of writing fits the story. The author isn't worried about storytelling so much as telling a story, and she succeeds in a very average fashion. It's neither good or bad ...more
May 26, 2013 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At times I felt scenes were overly dramatic, with the emotion stated rather than developed through the narrative - that the emotional current was too bluntly stated, not subtly conveyed in the writing. Having said that, I have to say I was drawn into the story and appreciated a Palestinian perspective on the region's Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The story arc carries us from the background of the establishment of Dar AL-Tifel Institute for Palestinian orphans in 1948 by Hind Husseini through th ...more
Aug 16, 2014 Raychel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not found many books that give such honest insight into the daily lives of the Palestinian people post 1948. Yes, l agree with other reviewers, that the first stage of the book was written in a very different style and seemed disconnected from the rest of the story. But as the main characters are developed and intertwined, the reader is drawn into a culture, a multi-faceted daily life. I enjoyed refreshing my knowledge of the politics of Palestine-Israel over the period since 1948. As alw ...more
Augustine Kobayashi
OK. It's just, while feeling positive about the message that is about hope and peace in Palestine, the story just doesn't sound real. The author seems to know too much about Miral's thoughts and feelings, which made suspicious. Of course, it is 'based on' facts. Perhaps the whole thing is fictional, a novel produced in a hope to raise awareness in the world that not all Palestinians are extremists. Miral was torn between the two opposing positions: that of armed struggle and that of diplomacy an ...more
Apr 29, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the somewhat journalistic prose style of Miral didn't always appeal to me, it got the job done of telling the story of a young Palestinian woman growing up in Jerusalem. Included are the back stories of her mother and father, as well as the woman who runs a school for Palestinian girls and orphans, plus a number of other characters. I'm very glad I read it, because I've come away feeling I have a much more nuanced view of what it must be like to live in Israel as a Palestinian - or even ...more
Hanan Al Rustamani

Miral by Rula Jebreal it’s a true story about a young girl Miral who lived and educated in an orphan house that established by Hind Husseini in Palestine in 1948. As Hind Husseini established the orphan house Dar El-Tifel to help the kids and especially girls to protect them from any violence, because she believed that education would help them in future. As Miral was one of those orphans who was involved to the politics and she aimed the freedom for her country, so she face some troubles and br
Holly S. Warah
This book disappointed me. I have a deep interest in Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause. However, I had trouble with how the book was written. The novel is written more as summary than as an immediate story. Also, there were too many sub-plots that were unnecessary and distracting. This could have been a much better book.
However, I don't want to discourage anyone from reading it. Some readers have enjoyed it. It does address important themes in the Palestinan experience--for example, the compu
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Rula Jebreal was born in Haifa, Israel, and grew up in East Jerusalem. Her father brought her to the Dar Al Tifel orphanage at the age of 5 after the death of her mother, where she studied and graduated with a scholarship from the Italian government to study medicine. She received a degree in physiotherapy from Bologna University, but went back to school there for a second degree in journalism and ...more
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