In this sequel to Ibrahim Fawal's critically acclaimed On the Hills of God (winner of the PEN Oakland Award), the young Palestinian Yousif Safi searches throughout Jordan for Salwa, his bride, from whom he was separated during their forced exodus after the catastrophe (Nakba) of 1948. Amidst the squalor of refugee camps, and beside himself with anxiety for Salwa, Yousif joins his countrymen in trying to exist while waiting to be restored to their homeland. Why, they ask, did this tragedy befall their country and its people? Why had the holy land been turned into a battleground? And now they've become a people without a land. As weeks turn to months and months to years, the Palestinians’ hopes dim, yet Yousif does find his beloved Salwa, and they joyfully begin their new life together. The Disinherited follows the young couple as expatriate workers in Kuwait, then as students in Cairo. Always they are working and organizing, joining with their fellows to develop schools, newspapers, and increasingly militant organizations. Their dream is to unite the Palestinian people around the world, and to regain their homeland. In measured, epic storytelling, Fawal masterfully weaves a second chapter in the story of the Palestinian diaspora.
Fawal's novel is a welcome contribution that connects readers to the human dimension of the largest ethnic cleansing post-WWII. It is a story of love and tragedy that will touch many hearts and minds.
—Mazin Qumsiyeh, professor at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, author of Sharing the Land of Canaan and Popular Resistance in Palestine
No matter the side you find yourself on the great Middle East divide, read Ibrahim Fawal’s novel: The Disinherited
. You will leave politics in the dust of time. You will take up the lives of Yousif Safi and his beloved Salwa in the aftermath of a lost war, a lost generation. But not a lost belief in their destiny. Fawal’s scenes of Jordan, Cairo, Egypt escape the printed page into the living breaths of his people. It’s not a read. It is a happening.
—John Logue, author of Life at Southern Living: A Sort of Memoir
No matter which side of the Middle East divide you are on, this book is a beautiful and compelling read.
Those readers who are already acquainted with Ibrahim Fawal's novel, On the Hills of God
, will need no persuasion to re-enter his fictional world, one in which the plight of the Palestinian people is explored in disarming detail. Fawal's narrative places the reader directly into the Palestinian experience, in this volume that implies exile, bitterness, oppression, and a continuing quest for survival and a modicum of dignity.
—Roger Allen, professor emeritus of Arabic and comparative literature, University of Pennsylvania