Gaza Mama: Politics and Parenting in Palestine – Laila El-Haddad


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With Gaza Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between , El-Haddad takes us into the life of a busy Palestinian journalist who is both covering the story of Gaza and living it-very intensely. This book is El-Haddad’s self-curated choice of the best of her writings from December 2004 through July 2010. She was in Gaza City in 2005, watching hopefully as the Israelis prepared their withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. She covered the January 2006 Palestinian elections-judged ‘free and fair’ by all international monitors; but then, she watched aghast as the Israeli government, backed by the Bush administration, moved in to punish Gaza’s 1.5 million people for the way they had voted by throwing a tough siege around the Strip. As the casualties and privations they suffered soared, Gaza’s people found that Israel’s much-bally-hooed withdrawal of 2005 had led to something very different from what they had hoped for…

El-Haddad was not only covering Gaza’s situation as a journalist and correspondent. She was also living them, including by trying to explain the ongoing events to her own young children. In 2006, El-Haddad left Gaza to be with her husband in the U.S., but her beloved parents stayed behind. In the book she recounts the angst of a person stranded outside her homeland when it was came under intense Israeli assault at the turn of the year 2008-2009– though she was also able to publish and amplify the experiences of her parents as they cowered in central Gaza City under Israel’s harsh, 22-day bombardment.

In the book we watch El-Haddad’s young children growing up. She tells us about her life as a journalist and a media activist, including her involvement in the many new Palestinian-rights initiatives that emerged after Israel’s late-2008 attack on Gaza.


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