Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New review: Yusif Sayigh memoirs

The Electronic Intifada, 7th June 2016

Yusif Sayigh’s life story, narrated and edited by his wife Rosemary (herself an eminent anthropologist and activist), is a significant addition to this list.
Its importance stems from two things.
Firstly, it is a wonderfully frank account of Yusif’s long and eventful life, from 1916 to 2004. One wonders if the fact that it was recorded by his wife, rather than written as a formal biography, inspired such openness on subjects ranging from sex (and the accompanying guilt) to Yusif’s tempestuous relationship with Yasser Arafat.

The full article is here.

4 comments on “New review: Yusif Sayigh memoirs

  1. Jamiel Sabbagh
    June 25, 2016

    Great review. I agree, the stories of ‘ordinary’ Palestinian people through the 20th century enriches and provides immense value to our contested history. My Grandmother grew up in Al-Bassa around the same time as Yusif Sayigh and witnessed the British massacre during the 1936-39 civil war. Events like these need to be recorded and remembered.
    Jamiel Sabbagh

    • Bianca
      August 8, 2016

      Well put Jamiel Sabbagh

  2. Bianca
    August 8, 2016

    I totally agree with Jamiel Sabbagh, sharing these stories and historical events is important. Personal accounts such as this make history that people find hard to connect with more accessible and relatable.

    • sadiailona
      August 17, 2016

      Yes Jamiel and further to your point I think stories such as this are important reminders that history is made by ordinary people. As a student and teacher of history I would like to see more memoirs read in school and university history subjects.

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