'Once upon a Country': A Path to Mideast Peace?

By Huang, Carol | The Christian Science Monitor, May 22, 2007 | Go to article overview

'Once upon a Country': A Path to Mideast Peace?


Huang, Carol, The Christian Science Monitor


"Emotions ... can be transformed through an act of will. It's up to us to turn hatred into understanding."

In his recent memoir, Palestinian intellectual and public figure Sari Nusseibeh lays out his legacy - and his ideal - as a Palestinian nationalist: One who tried to foster a nonviolent, grass- roots movement for statehood, founded on the belief that the human will is powerful enough to realize freedom under oppression.

His optimism is buoyant and rare.

In more than a decade of a downward-spiraling conflict that's entering its second century, Nusseibeh reiterates his freedom-of- the-will mantra so frequently that readers might wonder whether he's trying to convince us, or himself.

Yet this Harvard-trained scholar seems to revel in radical ideas and fairy tales - such as peace and Palestine. Hence the title, Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life.

Part of Nusseibeh's challenge is convincing Palestinians that his peacenik ideas have been in their interest. With 13 generations of his family born in Jerusalem, many holding high office, Nusseibehs were committed public servants in the Holy Land long before Yasser Arafat donned his first kaffiyeh.

Nusseibeh's positions would certainly peg him as a Palestinian. To him there's no doubt his people belong on the land or that Israel is full of bad guys. "A more radical generation of settlers ... grew more and more brazen" and "Shin Bet agents ... beat them [Palestinians] to death," he writes, clearly fingering the Israeli perpetrators.

But through artful sentence constructions, Palestinian agency often vanishes: "Violence was taking root," and "Lebanese-like terror had reached Israel in the form of a bus-bombing." Still, Nusseibeh's loyalty doesn't lie squarely with Palestinians. He scorns extremist "Islamic loonies" and avoids Arafat's often- corrupt inner circle.

Ultimately, Nusseibeh identifies with humanism - the power of humans to effect change. He sees and appreciates it everywhere, even in the "enemy" he worked with briefly as a boy growing up in Jerusalem.

"The standard kibbutznik was a model humanist [whom] I had no choice but to admire," he says. That he had "no conception of the steep price we Arabs had paid for his freedom ... wasn't a product of malevolence...."

Studying at Oxford and Harvard, Nusseibeh finds strength for his convictions by reading medieval Islamic philosophers, such as Avicenna. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

'Once upon a Country': A Path to Mideast Peace?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.