Remains of Palestinian homes in al-Ramle today (photo by James Morris, That Still Remains)
They fettered his mouth with chains,
And tied his hands to the rock of the dead.
They said: You’re a murderer.
They took his food, his clothes and his banners,
And threw him into the well of the dead.
They said: You’re a thief.
They threw him out of every port,
And took away his young beloved.
And then they said: You’re a refugee.
– Mahmoud Darwish, ‘Refugee’
I was ten years old when a small branch library opened in the Cheshire village where I grew up. Week after week I devoured novels, many of them beyond my childish comprehension. One of the books that did made a powerful impression on me that year was Exodus by Leon Uris.
Published in 1958, Exodus was a hugely influential book, and I was one of those who were deeply affected…
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