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Mornings in Jenin

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In this paper a new perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is brought forward. The untold story of the social suffering, experienced on this Palestinian land is well depicted. The paper introduces a wider range of views and understandings of how the events unfold and negatively had an impact on Palestinian. The paper borrows much from Susan Abulhawa’s novel Mornings in Jenin. The novel gives the answers for the questions regarding the well-known story about Israel, Israelian international affairs, and the relationship between family and political conflicts among other issues. In the essay, some of these questions are given attention in an attempt to review whether the events as they come out in the Mornings in Jenin can be wholly accepted. In other words, there is a question about whether the events were exaggerated and if yes, then where and how the side of her story can be incorporated into the story to produce one concrete and well detailed story.

The Palestinian story, as it is known by the vast majority of the world, is greatly different from what is portrayed in Mornings in Jenin. In her book, Susan Abulhawa seems to concentrate on the suffering of Palestinians who appeared in the hands of the Israeli soldiers. Her story is very much different from what is told in many parts of the world and especially in the United States. Among some of the main reasons why this is not the known story in the U.S is the fact that the U.S had an interest in protecting the state of Israel. Moreover, the huge number of Jews inhabited the United States where the government decided to quell terrorism activities in the Middle East, so that by many the USA became targeted as an enemy.

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Each of the abovementioned reasons have in one way or the other contributed to the sweet story of Israel, told in the U.S., in which Israel is viewed by many as the victim of the conflict. Most Americans believe that Israel is unfairly treated by extremist Muslim governments of the Middle East region. Though this acts fairly well in making American citizens support the cause of their government backing Israel up against Palestine, it has unfortunately lead to a rebellion against both U.S and Israel by other states of the Middle East.

Beyond the conflict of states, as it may have been noted, it is also important to emphasize the moments when this political conflict has caused or is still causing family conflicts. Generally, during wars families are broken up as some family members are killed, others are displaced since men are drawn in to joining the warring factions. For instance, the writer describes the Abulheja family, living in Jenin. Amal, who is a daughter in the family, is welcomed back and seems to be interested more by the father’s devotion in reading Arabic verses.

Unfortunately, the father later disappeared in 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict. Dalia, her sister, losses her mind as a result of the conflict and Amal herself barely survives in just a week after a bomb shell is dropped.  Her only option now is to leave Jenin and to make her dead father’s wish of her education come true. As the conflict escalates, she losses almost everybody she loves in Lebanon where conflict has spread to. Having lost all her friends and family, she opts for U.S help in raising her son. A bit later  an Israeli named David comes looking for her. Luckily, the Israeli turns out to be her brother who has been taken away from the family by an Israeli soldier who brought him up as his own child.

The writer as well brings up another issue of how those affected by the conflict made strides in helping themselves out of the mess they were in. This is clearly observed when Haj Salem advices Amal to go to Jerusalem and join school there. He even puts it in a friendlier manner when he tells her that some of the best treasures that humans are given are their mind and hearts. By this, Amal is greatly encouraged to an extent that she even admits it when she says that the conversation with Haj Salem seemed to her to be very cognitive that she has not experienced with any other human being. It is from the conversation that Amal sees the need and becomes more energetic in her quest to fulfil her father’s dream of getting her educated. She starts thinking of how in the best way she could improve her future. She observes it as one which could impact positively on the future of the family. Again, her life completely changes after she has accepted the advice and gets her further education abroad. This has become the basis of her current success which she really appreciates.

Different effect from the novel

As the writer makes us understand from the novel, different people are affected differently and thus a different transformation is experienced by each one of them. This is well illustrated in the book when she writes, “As those who lived in Ein Hod were displaced from their homes, Moshe joins militias from his people in guarding their village. On her part, Dalia is heartbroken while David is severely hit by the loss of Ismae and, Jolanta forcing him to sleep. Consequently, as Hasan aimed to see his family survive, Moshe and his fellow soldiers are drawn in to songs in their drunkenness. However, as Yehya and others were driven out from their land, ‘Hatikva’ songs and voices shouting long live Israel could be heard” (Abulhawa, Mornings in Jenin, 2010). It is clear that Moshe, Amal, Dalai, and Yousef have all lost their loved ones. The effects of the war were the disintegration of the family depending on where fate has sent them. Moreover, though to different degrees, they all have been somehow traumatized by the situation.

However, despite the fact that all can be regarded as victims of the war, the manner in which each has been influenced by the conflict makes a difference in the transformation. It is because of those common tragedies they have suffered that they act differently. For example, Dalia lost her mind as a result of the conflict. She most likely got traumatized more than the others and was unable to get rid of the disturbing experiences that they had encountered. Yousef, on the other hand, is filled with hatred towards the Jews and joins rebellion against the State of Israel and more specifically the Israeli military. On her part, Moshe was traumatized just like Dalia, but she behaves differently as she can not utter a single word. She seemed frightened or even scared of expressing her mind, while Amal seemed to have handled her case more properly, easily overcoming everything and even joining a school program. In fact, she seems to have been among the best placed in comparison with the others.

From the book a little hope is left for the situation getting any better. The books come to the end, many Palestinians are filled with the total hatred towards Israelis who they accuse of killing their families. More groups of Palestinian youths are finding it reasonable to join militia groups fighting against the Israelis. This becomes a proof that the conflict is still far from being over as no side seems to back off, and thus making is resemble more of an open end conflict that is not likely to come to an end soon. For instance, when the world in general has been advocating for a two state solution, the State of Israel makes little effort towards this. Again, Palestinians accuse the Israeli government of invading their territories and constructing settlements for the Jews (Abulhawa, Mornings in Jenin, 2010).

Finally, as much as the writer may be right, her story seems to be biased. On no account does she clearly illustrate how civilian Israelis are suffering. She has concentrated her book on making the readers view Palestinians as the sole victims of the violence, as in the novel they are depicted as being propelled by the Israeli government. Her account of the story just covers the one side of it in favour of Palestinians, just like most Americans have been made to believe that Israelis are the sole victims of the conflict. It’s only fair that such accounts of the stories try to bring up the two sides of the conflict if a peace solution is to be achieved.

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