As the spokesperson for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, Hanan Mikhail-Ashrawi has become the most recognized and most articulate voice of their struggle. The world turns to her to make sense of the often conflicting attempts at peace in the Middle East as much for her clarity and vision as for her actions and experience. When the intifada began, Hanan MikhailAs the spokesperson for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, Hanan Mikhail-Ashrawi has become the most recognized and most articulate voice of their struggle. The world turns to her to make sense of the often conflicting attempts at peace in the Middle East as much for her clarity and vision as for her actions and experience. When the intifada began, Hanan Mikhail-Ashrawi was at the front lines, trying to reason with the Israeli soldiers and to articulate the feelings of an occupied, and troubled, nation; when peace talks were initiated, she brought the human element into the increasingly complex diplomatic meetings; and when Arafat and Rabin shook hands on the White House lawn, she had worked out the last-minute details that finally made it possible.
Now, in a revealing and important account, Ashrawi tells of her own struggles, as a Christian Arab woman in a Muslim, male-dominated world, torn between motherhood and the demands of her cause, and as a pivotal peacemaker in the most monumental negotiations of our lifetime. She offers an inside view of Mideast diplomacy, Arafat and the PLO hierarchy, and the thinking of the Palestinians, and she shares the emotional complexities of her everyday and extraordinary life. The daughter of a physician, a university professor herself -- and a wife and mother of two young daughters -- she could have found ways to avoid most of the hardship of the occupation, but instead she chose to be part of her people's struggle. In the midst of the heaviest fighting, when the two sides were locked in a fatal embrace, Ashrawi learned and drew great strength from her family and her intense friendships with both Palestinian and Israeli women, and quietly helped to lay the foundation for peace.
In her tireless efforts, she understood, by instinct and trial and error, when to follow diplomatic channels and when to take the back door, when to behave and when to break the rules. At the negotiating table she has pierced the iciest veneers with her keen intellect and fiery concern for human rights, and at international conferences, from Madrid to Washington, she has taken the diplomatic community and the media by storm. Still, in her every word, it is clear that her commitment is to the human -- not the political -- elements of nation-building.
Writing in the language of her heart, Hanan Mikhail-Ashrawi voices the most reasoned understanding of the situation in the Middle East, of the difficult road traveled, and of the perhaps more difficult road ahead....more
Paperback, 320 pages
June 5th 1996
(first published January 1st 1995)
This Side of Peace is a memoir by Hanan Mikhail Ashrawi, who was a key spokesperson for the Palestinians in the Israeli controlled territories, primarily in the 80s and 90s. I remember seeing her a number of times on the ABC Nightline and I liked how she articulated the struggles of her people. I purchased This Side of Peace back in ‘95, but I never really got around to reading it back then.
Much of her story is similar to what I read in a biography of Yassar Arafat, but her story focuses on herThis Side of Peace is a memoir by Hanan Mikhail Ashrawi, who was a key spokesperson for the Palestinians in the Israeli controlled territories, primarily in the 80s and 90s. I remember seeing her a number of times on the ABC Nightline and I liked how she articulated the struggles of her people. I purchased This Side of Peace back in ‘95, but I never really got around to reading it back then.
Much of her story is similar to what I read in a biography of Yassar Arafat, but her story focuses on her work and contributions. Similar to many African American memoirs, such as The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, This Side of Peace while a personal story is also the story of people living and fighting under political injustice.
I didn’t realize until reading this book, however, that she was/is a Palestinian Christian. If found that interesting, but unfortunately she doesn’t reflect much about her religious background or to what extent she thinks religion has impacted the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
She’s not every reflective in her memoir; instead she focuses more on the nightmarish meetings and negotiations leading to the “struggle for peace/” These struggles not only centered around plight of Palestinian people, but the struggle of Palestinian women, usurping their role in the movements for justice.
While This Side of Peace is not a revelatory memoir, it’s important to read it, even today, because Palestinians are living under racist Israeli occupation. ...more
Although this was written almost 15 yrs ago, it's still very interesting & unfortunately, timely, as the Palestinian/Israeli conflict drags on. Dr. Ashrawi is a distant cousin...her father and my maternal grandmother were 1st cousins. As expected there is a definite bias toward the Palestinian cause for statehood, however, there is also a realistic perspective of what each side needs to give in order to attain peace.
One woman's story of her involvement in official negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian delegation in the 80's and 90's. Not the most well-written but very insightful in terms of the situation faced by Palestinians in and outside the farce called the "peace process" and internal dynamics among Palestinian elites. A very interesting book but don't make it the only one you read about Palestine.
If you have never read a Palestinian perspective on the strife in Israel/Palestine, this is one book you should read. Hanan Ashrawi is a Christian who has been eloquently speaking out for decades. Elegantly written, this is a personalized account of the conflict that will change the way you think about this troubled area of the world.
From the world-recognized leader of the Palestinians comes an inside view of Arafat and of the secret negotiations and last-minute decisions that led to the Oslo Peace Talks. "A revealing document of a partisan who has helped make Middle East history".--Publishers Weekly.
Powerful!!! This was a required reading for an International Studies course. I'm the type of person who wants both sides, I crave it. This book provided that and gave a viewpoint that isn't portrayed in the media. A viewpoint that shows there needs to be peace.
A Palestinian negotiator's account of her experiences with the 1993 Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations. A little dry in places, but it was still interesting to read about the events from a different perspective than what we usually get here in America.
Hanan is a famous Christian Palestinian who presents her side of the conflict with Israel. What an eye-opener! The info presented to Americans (and maybe even Canadians) is completely skewed and biased. Check out ifamericansknew.org to see the distortions.