: The wind in my hair (9781566566636) : Salwa Salem, Laura Maritano : Books
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The Wind In My Hair

by Salwa Salem, Laura Maritano
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Interlink
  • Publishing date: 30/10/2006
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9781566566636
  • ISBN: 1566566630


The Wind in My Hair is the memoir of Salwa Salem, who was just eight years old when she and many other Palestinians were uprooted by the Zionists in al-Nakba (the catastrophe). After her family fled to Jaffa and then to Nablus, she spent the rest of her life in exile: in Damascus, Kuwait, Vienna, and finally, Italy. Salem's story of displacement and exile is in one sense the story of all Palestinians; her account of her own political engagement and that of members of her own family tells the political history of an embattled people.

But she is no token Palestinian; she is, above all, her own person: a courageous and vital woman who claimed the right to be free to choose her work and her husband; to read Kafka and Simone de Beauvoir alongside Arab literature; to love both opera and the songs of Fairouz; to be involved in politics and have a family.

If the particular pitch of this memoir derives from its deathbed narration (as Salem lay dying of cancer, she dictated the story of her life to Laura Maritano), it is the memoir's precision, its judicious balance of the personal and the political, that triumphs over any individual or national tragedy. Salem refuses to be simply a victim-of war, of political injustice, of sickness-but embraces life passionately to the end, and in doing so, has left the world the gift of her life story.

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  • A Stunning Story
    From Amazon

    Salwa Salem's memoir, "The Wind in my Hair" is a fascinating look at the power of the human spirit. Salem, a Palestinian woman, was uprooted from her home when she was a young girl. Intelligent, political, and determined she lived in Damascus, Kuwait, and Vienna before settling in Italy. In spite of the obstacles she faced (sexism, racism, and Xenophobia) she never settled for second-class status.

    This is a very readable book with a point of view we see all too seldom. It should be required reading in high schools and colleges across this country.

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