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This Side of Peace


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The memoirs of Palestinian spokesperson Ashrawi who is, surprisingly, a woman and a Christian.

Ashrawi, who came to international media attention as a spokeswoman for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) during the long, frustrating peace negotiations with Israel, gives a notable behind-the-scenes account of the events leading up to the signing of the accord by Prime Minister Rabin and PLO chairman Arafat on the White House lawn. A major player in these events, she speaks proudly of her participation in organizing the intifada, with passion of her people's anger and humiliation under Israeli occupation and with dissatisfaction of the final agreement, which brought on her resignation. Here we see the human side of the Arab-Israeli dilemma, through the eyes of an independent, intellectual Arab woman brought up in a freethinking Christian-Muslim household where daughters were considered a gift, not a curse. Ashrawi offers a close-up portrait of Arafat as well as of the major American and Israeli negotiators, Palestinian women emerging from passivity to join the intifada, the outrage at the U.S. pro-Israel policy and the dissident Israelis who became her friends. Though committed to peace, Ashrawi is intransigent on still unresolved problems, among them the Arab claim to Jerusalem. A revealing document of a partisan who has helped make Middle East history. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (May)

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