Of Noble Origins

Of Noble Origins

Publishing House: The American University in Cairo Press

Publication Year: 2012

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 304

“Of Noble Origins” by Sahar Khalifeh delves deep into the historical and societal roots of the Palestinian struggle, particularly focusing on the events surrounding the Palestinian strike in 1936. The narrative is anchored in the experiences of the Qahtan family, a prestigious Palestinian lineage that traces its ancestry back to the Arabian Peninsula and the family of the Prophet Muhammad. This noble heritage has long bestowed upon the Qahtan family a respected status in their community, shaping their cultural and political stances.

The novel, set against the backdrop of the British Mandate and the burgeoning Zionist movement, captures a critical period in Palestinian history. The Palestinians, realizing the extent of British betrayal – promises made to the Jews fulfilled, while those made to the Arabs broken – grapple with the challenges of illegal Jewish immigration and the usurpation of their lands. Khalifeh, through meticulous research and references to memoirs of key figures like Akram Zuaiter, Mohammad Darwazeh, and the Sakakini family, alongside insights from new Israeli historians, constructs a narrative that is both historically rich and deeply personal.

The story is not just a recount of historical events but also an exploration of the social dynamics within Palestinian society. The Qahtan family embodies these complexities – their beliefs and actions are a reflection of the conservative societal values prevalent in cities like Nablus. The characters, such as Zakiyya, her brother, and her children – Wahid, Ameen, and Widad – represent different facets of this society, each navigating their paths amidst the turmoil of their times.

“Of Noble Origins” thus stands as a profound narrative that intertwines the personal and the political, the historical and the contemporary. It portrays the internal conflicts within Palestinian society, their struggle for cultural and national identity, and their relentless efforts to preserve their homeland under the looming shadow of external threats and internal challenges. This novel is a testament to Khalifeh’s skill in weaving a story that resonates with the collective memory of a nation, reflecting their aspirations, struggles, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Read More About Sahar Khalifeh

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