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Mornings in Jenin

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  20,654 ratings  ·  3,354 reviews
A heart-wrenching, powerfully written novel that could do for Palestine what The Kite Runner did for Afghanistan.

Forcibly removed from the ancient village of Ein Hod by the newly formed state of Israel in 1948, the Abulhejas are moved into the Jenin refugee camp. There, exiled from his beloved olive groves, the family patriarch languishes of a broken heart, his eldest son
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 15th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA (first published March 2006)
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Marci I suggest The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan. It is non-fiction and is told from 2 sides: a Palestinian who had to depart his home and an Israeli who then …moreI suggest The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan. It is non-fiction and is told from 2 sides: a Palestinian who had to depart his home and an Israeli who then lived in the same home. (less)

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Average rating 4.39  · 
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 ·  20,654 ratings  ·  3,354 reviews

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Susan Abulhawa
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
i wrote it. so, my rating isn't all that relevant to readers. but for what it's worth, it came from a place of love, and I put pieces of my heart in this narrative.
Nema Al-Araby
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nema by: Noor Al-Zubaidi
I don't know..I'll try.
This was, most certainly, the most heartbreaking novel I have ever, so far, come to read. I literally left it aside and swam in a river of my own tears and hatred. I can't really write a review that will give this novel all of its credit. I just know that I hated myself, I hated being an Arab. And I hated that words will never, ever portray the true situation in Palestine, nor the death statistics will embrace the idea of death itself. I cried in nearly every single chapte
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have had a hard time trying to review this book because it affected me on so many emotional levels. I almost feel like I am betraying the characters to say how much I enjoyed this book just because it was such an intense insight into a part of the world I knew so little about. Abulhawa enlightened and devestated me at the turn of every page... I learned about the beauty of Palestine, its people and their hardships, the wars, the savagery and the intense hatred we can impose on one another. I w ...more
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
Re-reading this one for February 2016 sit in Book Club Originally read in 2011.

Isn't it wonderful when a book like Mornings in Jenin inspires readers to discuss, think about or research further for information in order to educate and better understand the conflicts of the world.

Mornings in Jenin is an amazing read and an insight to the lives of the Abulheja family who are an ordinary Palestinian family living just before, during and since the creation of the state of Israel.
For me I had known
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
A Palestinian perspective on the conflict in the Middle East? Yes, this book delivers that. A good novel? No, not that.

This book starts with the idyllic lives of Palestinian villagers in the early 1940s. It moves on to describe their displacement into a refugee camp, where the main character, Amal, is born. From there it (mostly) follows her life up until the early 2000s. Amal grows up in the camp, but a scholarship is her ticket out and from there her life takes some interesting turns until she
Disclosure: Won in Goodreads giveaway.

I suppose this is a type of book that will get some people's panties in a twist, so let me say a couple things.

1. Never, ever, listen to just one side of the story. There needs to be fiction told from the Palestinian point of view just as there needs to be fiction told from the Israeli point of view.

2. Who wants just to read books that don't challenge them?

3. It really isn't biased.

Okay, had to say that.

Mornings in Jenin is actually a surprising good novel
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit my ignorance in the continuing turmoil between Israel and Palestine. It seems that it is a conflict that has been going on forever and that many people in the States are at a lose to understand... so we watch the news call them all crazy then go about our live. This novel opened my eyes to this situation and made me sad, but most of all it made me angry. Angry that in a world of mass media and all the technological advances we possess that these atrocities are still going on in m ...more
عبدُ الرَّحمن
I'm speechless. For non-Palestinians, it's important to read this novel since it summarizes the story of Palestine - the story of great love and great loss-.
For Palestinians, it's good though painful to see our miseries put into words.

May I can write about some points of this outstanding novel ,later.

The lovely signature of my Palestinian sister Susan Abulhawa on my copy of Mornings in Jenin

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The Book Whisperer (aka Boof)
What a wonderful yet hearbreaking ride this book was. Firstly, I’ll start with the fact that as soon as I saw the cover and title of this book I knew I had to read it. In 1993-94, I answered an add in the paper to go and work as an Au Pair for a family in Israel. I can’t explain why Israel, there were hunderds of adds for France, Italy, USA etc and one solitary add for Israel. As a child at school we were asked to pick a country to do a project on and I picked Israel. I’m not Jewish, nor am I Mu ...more
Apr 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Here's what I wrote about this book (written by a friend of mine) on the B&N website:

Everyone should read Susan Abulhawa’s The Scar of David. This story of a Palestinian family’s journey through four generations of Israeli occupation offers beautiful, balanced, and intensely humanistic insight into the experience of both Palestinians and Israelis. Abulhawa artfully demonstrates how both occupier and occupied fall victim to this conflict, yet she paints a clear picture of the magnitude of its eff
Jeanette (Again)
My takeaway message from this book is that women should be running the world.

The story follows four generations of the Palestinian Abulheja family and their friends. It begins in the 1940's when they are first driven from their ancestral lands in Ein Hod, continues through the war of 1967 and the Lebanon War of 1982, and concludes with the Israeli bulldozing and massacre at the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002. Theirs is a life of perpetual loss, perpetual grieving, and constant uncertainty.

Colleen Fauchelle
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
I appreciated this story. It opened my eyes to the other side of the story, the Muslim side of Israel. I liked the writing style some of the sentences were beautiful. And I am forever greatful to be born in NZ- we have our troubles but we are safe. This reads like non fiction but is fiction set around actual dates. It is heart breaking and terifying and tears will roll down your cheeks at certain spots. It's a story of children burying a baby, of a community round up and taken from their land, o ...more
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Niledaughter by: Aamir
This book is simply about what does it mean to be a Palestinian …I tried to a write a review but I could not collect the right thoughts , so here are the quotes that represent what I got from the book :

" The future can't breathe in refugee camp, The air here is too dense for hope"

"Growing up in a landscape of improvised dreams and abstract national longings, everything felt temporary to me . Nothing could be counted on to endure , neither parents nor siblings nor home. Not even one's body, vuln
Muhammad Ahmed Siddiqui
A competitor of THE KITE RUNNER and A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, and edges ahead of them at the end and it is strictly UNBIASED

I am speechless but I will try my best to tell you what this book did to me.

How many books you have read that made you love, hate, cry, angry, remorse, guilty, shiver, tremble and all the senses that a human being can experience ?

This book will make you feel human.

How many books you read that had great characters, wonderful storytelling, expertly constructed structure, ne
Mar 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
I wanted to read Mornings in Jenin because I was looking for an artful corrective to the American media slant of Israeli/good, Palestinian/terrorist. Unfortunately, Mornings in Jenin is neither artful nor corrective; what it is is propaganda from the pro-Palestinian side in which, and for the most part Palestinian = good, Israeli = terrorist. That's half the problem, the other half is that it's not a very well written book, suffering from unmotivated shifts in point of view, considerable telling ...more
Dec 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Mornings in Jenin is difficult to review because the normal tags do not apply. Mornings is near enough to non-fiction as makes no difference. Susan Abulhawa imagines the characters, but their feelings, motivations and the events of the novel draw from reality and weighs Mornings with significance. The brutalities in the novel are such that again and again one wonders, much as in war literature, "How can people do this to each other?" Heartrending doesn't begin to describe it. It physically hurts ...more
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 hear
3.5 stars

I found this a heart-rending book; it upset me over and over because it reflects real histories. In general, I appreciate fictionalisations like this, because I understand and remember through emotional connections with characters. Susan Abulhawa successfully transforms real events in the genocidal invasion and occupation of Palestine into the story of one family’s experience here. I was already familiar with this history and was not surprised by any of the events, althought I was still
Dan Schwent
Sep 17, 2010 rated it liked it
In the West, when we hear of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, we rarely get the Palestinian side of the story. This book is that story.

Mornings in Jenin is the story of a Palestinian girl, Amal, and her family, living through six decades of Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As such, it is brutal at times. There are scenes of torture, brutality, and killing. War is brutal business and Abulhawa doesn't let you forget it. People are senselessly killed left and right.

Amal's story
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political
Amazing, honest, heart breaking and takes you on a hell of a ride on an emotional roller coaster. It made me weep every few pages, laugh out loud on others. It took me to Palestine and I could see myself under the olive trees and the orange trees. I could almost touch the people living in Jenin and in the refugee camps. I wept for them, laughed with them, celebrated good times and mourned the bad with them. A truly great read, although the book is a heavy one. It is almost as heavy as ten thousa ...more
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
" Where should the birds fly
After the last sky.....

I can explain this, but it would break the glass cover on your heart,
And there's no fixing that"

Israeli occupation exposes us very young to the extremes of our emotions, until we cannot feel except in the extreme.

Toughness found fertile soil in the hearts of Palestinians, and the grains of resistance embedded themselves in their skin. Endurance evolved as a hallmark of refugee society. But the price they paid was the subduing of tender vulner
Ahmed R. Rashwan
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is heart-wrenching, emotional and torturous. How can my soul possibly be the same after reading this. A near perfect novel, flawed only be very subtle faults, it comes close to a perfect painting of Palestine. I assure you that you will lose yourself; it is a book that will confuse you. Amidst all the pain, gut-wrenching emotions and utter shock you will forget that this is a story of fiction and will almost believe it is most definitely an autobiography. The events are all too real; the scen ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I find it hard to put into words how deeply moved I am by this is a sad but yet hope conveying story......
And the way it it is written, to was like reading poetry.....every single word makes you " feel", it makes you live the story......
Reem Ghabbany
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This read was a heartbreaking tragedy of Palestinians
Palestine the occupied state and the misery of its people
as an Arab, I grew up with stories about Palestine and its long-suffering people but even I haven't imagined it to be this horrifying. as the Author note says: The characters in this book are fictitious but Palestine and the events that happened in the book are real.
The story follows Amal, a Palestinian girl, born in a refugee camp. she struggles in her life as a Palestinian living und
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really never knew anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to call it just a conflict is insufficient and wrong. This book really educated me on these horrific events and time period. I do remember as a young child in the seventies and again as a teenager in the eighties hearing and seeing snippets of news reports about it on radio and television, but as a young child and teenager I wasn't interested nor did I understand. This place was far away from Ireland, it was somewhere over t ...more
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read. Being American (where all we hear are stories from an Israeli view), this book brought a wonderful and sad Palestinian perspective on the plight and struggles of their people during the years of the Israel/Palestine conflict, which sadly still exists today. You really feel for Amal and for her family and friends throughout the whole book. I won't spoil the story, but it touched my heart and left me with a craving to study more about the conflict.
Tanja Berg
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I give a book full marks only on a rare occasion. Most stories don't deserve it. As literature "Mornings in Jenin" is not of the highest order. The languale is too sumptuos and floral for the tale, a simpler prose would have been more effective. A simpler language would have rammed the story harder into the heart of the reader. In the beginning, the lavish descriptions of feelings actually cushion against the hard truths. This book receives full marks for bringing attention to Palestinian refuge ...more
Ahmad Mustafa
I don't know how to write a review for a book that induced and provoked a jar of emotions more than thoughts !!

I feel like I lived The 50+ years time span of this novel in a couple of days ,,with its sadnesses and the few moments of happiness and joy that found their way stealthily to its pages .

The author really knows how to tell a story and professionally makes you involved personally with the scenes ,characters and emotions.

The amount of unjust ,oppression and turmoil in this novel is too muc
Rana Baker
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I truly loved about this book was that it combines both a genuine historical account and a breathtaking personal narrative. I've read many books on Palestine although, and I admit, only few of them have to do with as much of literature as Mornings in Jenin. I must say, however, that this is the most beautifully woven account I've ever read. The small and simple details Abulhawa attaches to each of her characters are enough to draw you into the story from the beginning to the end. When I ask ...more
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Some books when you read, you're never the same person again. That's one of them.

It's very well written and full of plot twists.

I used to feel bad when I hear about people getting killed in Palestine. However, after reading this beautiful novel, knowing that any bombing in Palestine can kill people like Hasan, Majid, and Amal, I now see it from a completely different perspective.

I felt very angry and depressed after finishing this book. The Arab world .. no the WHOLE WORLD is either in غفلة or
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Also Susan Abulhawa
(Arabic: سوزان أبو الهوى)

susan abulhawa was born to refugees of the 1967 war when Israel captured what remained of Palestine, including Jerusalem. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her daughter. She is the founder and President of Playgrounds for Palestine, a children’s organization dedicated to upholding The Right to Play for Palestinian children. Her debut novel, Mornin

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“أيا كان شعورك , اكبتيه في داخلك” 133 likes
“We come from the land, give our love and labor to her, and she nurtures us in return. When we die, we return to the land. In a way, she owns us. Palestine owns us and we belong to her” 85 likes
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