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Columbia University Press Issues "Nakba Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory"

NEW YORK, May 11, 2007, (WAFA)- "Nakba Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory", new book on the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) has recently issued by Columbia University Press in New York.

Through 356 pages book, edited by Ahmad H. Sa'di and Lila Abu-Lughod, provides facts on the crimes committed by Zionest gangs aginst Palestinian civilians and the establishing of Israel on the rubble of at least 450 Palestinian villages in 1948.

Several authors, professors, film makers, and various figures shed the light on "Nakba" through their own reviews.

Ahdaf Soueif, author of The Map of Love, said that Nakba provides crucial insights into the Palestinian-Israeli situation yesterday, today, and, perhaps, tomorrow. This is a voice which needs to be heard by everyone interested in resolving this conflict.

"The catastrophic expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homeland in 1948 is a historic injustice that demands the attention of the entire world. Americans, Israelis, and Jews in every nation must especially give heed to this astonishing collection of masterful essays. Far from being a melancholy assemblage of anger and self-pity, this book is a major political and scholarly achievement, reflecting deeply on the traumatic roots of national identity, the role of memory and amnesia, history and mythical narrative, legal doctrine and eyewitness testimony, women's experience, men's business, and lost places found again in song, story, and film. This is essential reading for anyone who longs for a just settlement to 'the question of Palestine,' the question of the Middle East, or, indeed, the establishment of a world order of peace and justice." -W. J. T. Mitchell, The University of Chicago, and author of What Do Pictures Want?: The Lives and Loves of Images.

"These essays form a formidable, thoughtful, and incisive collection. The analyses here engage trauma studies, the problem of the historical construction of memory, and the ways politics seize upon and efface memory for the purposes of establishing historiographical control over the past. These writings are pervasively critical, in the best sense, demonstrating at once the difficulty and the necessity of memory. At stake in this volume is not only how to tell the story of this dispossession but also how to tell the story of why this story has become untellable in so many quarters. Here one finds lament, anguish, anger, and political demands for justice in a set of analyses that are thoughtful, self-reflective, and complex." -Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor, University of California at Berkeley.

"The Nakba is a continuous presence in Palestinian life. The occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since 1967 and the denial of Palestinians of the right to self-determination make the Nakba a living memory. This book is a combination of scholarly work and testimony. Claims of memory are part of the struggle for justice, and justice for Palestinian victims begins by recognizing their right to speak." -Elias Khoury, Global Distinguished Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, New York University, and author of Gate of the Sun.

About the Authors: Ahmad H. Sa'di is a senior lecturer in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He has published widely on political, social, and economic aspects of the lives of Palestinians in Israel.

Lila Abu-Lughod is professor of anthropology and gender studies at Columbia University. Her books include Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society, Writing Women's Worlds: Bedouin Stories, and Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt.

S.A.S. (21:46 P) (18:46 GMT)

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