Reviewed by Hugh Galford
Washington Report jan-feb 2001

Of the several final status issues yet to be honestly examined under Oslo, that of the Palestinian refugees—and their right to return—ranks among the most emotive. Scattered around the world, the refugees from 1948, their numbers swelled by those from 1967, now total an estimated 5 million. Even after 50 years, their attachment to home is awesome—especially when it is realized that many of them have never laid eyes on Palestine.

For Mourid Barghouti in I Saw Ramallah, the bridge home still exists, but the road to it has been filled with catastrophes and misfortunes.

In spring 1967, Barghouti left Deir Ghassanah, a village outside of Ramallah, to return to Cairo for his university exams. On June 5, he has three exams standing between him and graduation. And on June 5, while in the process of winning a university degree, he loses his home: Ramallah has fallen to the Israeli army.

read on