Thursday, January 18, 2007
Our story on NPR
I was interviewed by Dick Gordon for his show, "the Story", on NPR this week. It was a very lengthy and intense interview, which of course had to be cut down, but what aired at least is available here under the title "A Home in Palestine": Laila El-Haddad is a Palestinian journalist who divides her time between Gaza and Durham, N.C. She was in Gaza City this December when violence broke out between the two factions. Dick talks with Laila about the prospect of civil war in Gaza. He also hears what it's like to raise a child under occupation. Laila has a son, 2 ½ year old Yousuf, who is just now beginning to question what the fighting is all about.
We talked a lot about the big questions of identity and existence and homeland-and how and why one develops an attachment to the land, and whether it is even a choice sometimes, especially for Palestinians.
Of course we also discussed raising a child under occupation and then recent events and what I make of it all. A lot was cut out, namely a lengthy discussoin we had about how to characterize the Hamas-Fateh fighting. In the end, I think it boils down to more than a power struggle; I think at its base, it is a fight for legitimacy and for the national historical narrative of the Palestinian struggle-will it be a secular nationalist narrative, one that Fateh considers itself the "founding father" of, and which eventually degenerated into the story of a bunch of decrepid old men that are trying to desperately revive that vision? or a more recent and quicker Islamic nationalist narrative, that, whether or not one agrees with it, threatens to unravel the entire "history" of the Palestinian struggle and recent "peace making" efforts? I dunno. something ot think about.
posted by Laila @ Thursday, January 18, 2007