12 décembre 2009 — And so I begin. His name was Mohammed Baroud, and he was a good man, is how Ramzy Baroud concludes the Foreword to his new book, and embarks on a chronicle so rare and so powerful that the book promises to redefine the way the Gaza story is told.
On December 27, 2009, Ramzy Barouds new book, My Father Was A Freedom Fighter: Gazas Untold Story, was released in London by Pluto Press, to coincide with the first anniversary of Israels so-called Operation Cast Lead, which killed and wounded thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, the vast majority of whom were civilians.
As the frontline in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Gaza is constantly reported as a place of violence and terror. Ramzy Baroud’s memoir explores the daily lives of the people in that turbulent region: the complex human beings — revolutionaries, mothers and fathers, lovers, and comedians — who make Gaza so much more than just a disputed territory. At the heart of Baroud’s tale is the story of his father, who, driven out of his village to a refugee camp, took up arms to fight the Occupation, while trying to raise a family.
My Father Was A Freedom Fighter: Gazas Untold Story is the latest book by Palestinian-American journalist, author, and former Al-Jazeera producer Ramzy Baroud. Baroud is Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle, and his work has been published in hundreds of newspapers and journals worldwide. His 2002 book, Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion has received international recognition. His 2006 book, The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a Peoples Struggle (Pluto Press, London) has won the praise of many scholars worldwide.
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Ramzy Baroud’s “My Father Was A Freedom Fighter” is more than a book, it is actually a masterpiece. In an overwhelmingly evoking personal style Baroud manages to bring to light the history of the Palestinian people and their battle with Israel and Zionism. Through the story of the Baroud’s family the book outlines every event in the history of the conflict and reflects on the way it transformed the Palestinian reality.
The book is a heart breaking depressing story of the Baroud family’s journey from paradise to hell. It is a flight that starts in Beit Daras, a small pictorial village in the south of Palestine. It ends in a Gaza refugee camp. It is a tragic journey of a rural self-sufficient population that is driven into total dispossession, humiliation and absolute poverty. And yet, there is a beam of light along the book namely resistance: Ramzy’s father Mohammed, was a freedom fighter. He didn’t win a single war, not even a battle, yet, against all odds, in spite of his poverty and illness, he managed to educate his children and to plant hope in their young souls, to fuel Ramzy with fierceness, which along the years transformed the young man into a monumental inspirational writer and an icon of intellectual resistance.