The diaries of Dr Hussein Fakhri al-Khalidi offer a unique insight to the peculiarities of colonialism that have shaped Palestinian history. Elected mayor of Jerusalem – his city of birth – in 1935, the physician played a leading role in the Palestinian Rebellion of the next year, with profound consequences for the future of Palestinian resistance and British colonial rule. One of many Palestinian leaders deported as a result of the uprising, it was in British-imposed exile in the Seychelles Islands that al-Khalidi began his diaries. Written with equal attention to lively personal encounters and ongoing political upheavals, entries in the diaries cover his sudden arrest and deportation by the colonial authorities, the fifteen months of exile on the tropical island, and his subsequent return to political activity in London then Beirut. The diaries provide a historical and personal lens into Palestinian political life in the late 1930s, a period critical to understanding the catastrophic 1948 exodus and dispossession of the Palestinian people. With an introduction by Rashid Khalidi the publication of these diaries offers a wealth of primary material and a perspective on the struggle against colonialism that will be of great value to anyone interested in the Palestinian predicament, past and present.
Author: Rafiq Husseini
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Category: Literary Collections
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