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My First and Only Love

My First and Only Love

Author(s): Sahar Khalifeh

Location(s): Jordan, West Bank

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 1940s

After many decades of restless exile, Nadal returns to her family home in Nablus, where she had lived with her grandmother before the 1948 Nakba that scattered her family across the globe. She was a young girl when the popular resistance began and, through the bloodshed and bitter struggle, Nidal fell in love with Rabie, a freedom fighter. He was her first and only real love–him and all that he represented: Palestine in its youth and spring, the resistance fighters in the hills, the nation as embodied in her family home and in the land.

Years later, Nidal and Rabie meet, and he encourages her to read her uncle Amin’s memoirs. She immerses herself in the details of her family and national past and discovers that her absent mother had been nurse and lover to Palestinian leader Abdel-Qader al-Husseini.

Set in the final days of the British Mandate, Sahar Khalifeh spins an epic tale filled with emotional urgency and political immediacy.

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