Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Returning to Jaffa, thinking of Nahida Halaby Gordon

Today I wanted to lift up the story of Nahida Halaby Gordon, born in Jerusalem, raised in Jafa/Jaffa until age 9, when her family fled in 1948, becoming Palestinian refugees. At the time, Jaffa was the third-most populous city in Palestine. 

Every year, Nahida comes to my course, Israeli and Palestinian Literatures, to share her personal testimony. Seventy years have not lessened the pain when she speaks of her final days in Jaffa, before her family—and other Palestinian families—fled in 1948. Nahida discovered the Haganah flyer in her father’s papers after his death. 

Read the poems, the Haganah flyer, and the Tel Aviv municipal archive note from Shrapnel Maps. What do they tell us, and why do they matter?

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