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Book details
  • SubGenre:Cultural Heritage
  • Language:English
  • Pages:308
  • Format:Hardcover
  • Hardcover ISBN:9781098385569

The Journey

Finding Relevance through the Pursuit of Learning

by Saleh Jabarin View author's profile page

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This book is intended to document my story for my children and grandchildren. There will be a time when they become interested in finding out more details about their own heritage and family history. It is becoming increasingly clear that there must be a cooperative approach in solving issues facing nature and humanity between educational institutions and private industry. I was fortunate to have performed that function through my academic career at the University of Toledo. Community service and engagement can be a very rewarding experience. In this book, there are many examples of that type of service. These examples may inspire younger generations to take on additional responsibilities for the service of the community.
After my retirement from teaching and research at the University of Toledo, I made a resolution to become a serious reader of non-scientific books. Among the first books I read was Searching for Fatima: A Palestinian Story, by Dr. Ghada Karmi, a physician and a political activist in London, England. Dr. Ghada was born in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1939. She and her family lived in a villa in a nice section of Jerusalem. The neighborhood was a mixture of Arabs, Jews, and Europeans who worked for various consulates and embassies. In 1949, the war for Israeli independence led to violent outbreaks in multiple neighborhoods in Jerusalem. The Karmi family fled to Syria, since Ghada's mother had extended family in Syria. In Jerusalem, the Karmi family lived a very comfortable life as the father was working in the Ministry of Education of Palestine under the British Mandate. Fatima was a maid who helped caring for the three Karmi children. When the Karmi family migrated to Syria, Fatima had to go back to her village outside of Jerusalem. The children missed Fatima so much, especially Ghada, who treated Fatima like her mother. The Karmi family left Syria a year later to settle in London, England. Their father worked in the Arabic section of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). The children enrolled in local schools. Ghada finished graduate school with a medical degree and started to practice medicine in London. She was also attracted to writing and being an advocate for the Palestinian cause and a political activist. She became a well-known person in the circles of various activists of Arabs, Jews, and other nationalities. Ghada takes a trip to visit Jerusalem to search for her family's house as well as Fatima. The book Searching for Fatima captivated my imagination. As I was reading the story, I was reminded of the similarities of Dr. Ghada Karim's experiences and my own situation―age, fleeing from our homes, migrating to villages, Palestinian refugee hardships, and the description of Arab life and culture. I continued to read her other books, such as Return and Married to Another Man. I became fascinated with her writing style. She presented the Palestinian experience in such a strong and convincing manner. I was sharing my feelings about her books with Linda Mansour, a close friend. Linda was able to connect with Dr. Karmi on Facebook and introduced me to her. Dr. Karmi asked me to briefly tell her my story. I wrote a few pages describing my background, my family's experience in 1948, my journey to―and accomplishments in―the United States. My children and friends strongly encouraged me to finish writing my story. This book is the result of my effort. I must extend a great thank you to Dr. Ghada Karmi for her inspiration. I usually spend my winter months of January through March in Bonita Springs, Florida. On February 16, 2019 at the start of my morning walk, I saw a neighbor standing in front of his garage. The city had recently been required to put in a water main and residents had been put under a water boil advisory. I asked the neighbor, after greeting him, if he knew when the advisory would be lifted, and it would be safe to drink the water. He thought seventy-two hours, which meant this day around 3pm. The municipal water department was supposed to give us a blue note to that effect. He was skeptical if they would do that on a Saturday. He then asked, "What is your home origin?" "I am a Palestinian Arab," I said. He told me that he knew people from Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Then he asked, "What brought you to our country?" I recounted my schooling and my professional experiences in the United States since 1962. The neighbor was formerly a minister in Cincinnati, Ohio. He and his wife winter in Florida, since they are retired. We said our greetings again and I continued my walk. I hope this book gives the minister and all of the readers the complete reason for me coming to the United States.
About the author
Palestinian by birth, A US citizen by oath, and a success through his journey.
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