This was supposed to be a book but it made more sense to turn it into a “website book.” After all, not everyone will go to the bookstore but nearly everyone has access to the Internet. And the sad reality is that too many people have formed their opinions of Palestinian people, places, and things by the words of others. Well, I’m an American-Palestinian and I’d like to tell you about my own people and heritage.
The initial screen for “Escape to a World of Palestinian Surprises” features different aspects of Palestine. From the olive and cypress trees to the red poppies to the hills in the background, welcome to the land of my parents and ancestors. Taking a walk are curious children inviting you to take a fun journey with them — a journey to discover “surprises” about their unique heritage and people.
As you go through the “surprises,” please note that there are so many more people, places, and things that could be included. I stopped at 100, for now. This website is an on-going project with additions to be made as they come to my attention.
The “surprises” are brief synopses which should pique your interest to find out more. Wherever possible, I tried to include links to videos, pictures, and interviews to make the journey more enjoyable. A bibliography of my sources is included.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that there is no rhyme or reason to the order of the “surprises.” Well, except for two – the first, as well as #48. The first is St. George, considered a home-grown hero. He is much revered by both Palestinian Christians and Muslims. The number 48 is significant for Palestinians because 1948 was the year that the Palestinian narrative and history gave way to decades of misinformation about who the Palestinians are as a people. For #48, I purposefully chose the late Professor Edward Said.
Professor Said spoke and wrote often about how Palestinians were denied a voice to narrate their own history and talk about their lives in popular media and culture. Essentially, his words came to be known as “Permission to Narrate.” And the “permission to narrate” is what this website is about.
You will discover such gems as: the Palestinian women’s national movement began as far back 1920; Scottish bagpipes are used in religious celebrations; the Hollywood agent for actress Katherine Heigl and rock band Aerosmith is of Palestinian descent (Sam Gores); and so on.
This site will be translated into Arabic in the coming weeks for Palestinian youth in Palestine.
In the meantime, enjoy your escape to a world of Palestinian surprises!
All my Best, Sherri
P.S. An FB page has been started for “Palestinian Surprises.” http://www.facebook.com/PalestinianSurprises. Please go to this page and click “like” if you like this project.