Ramallah Diaries in all sorts and shapes...
"Out of Place - A Memoir" by Edward Said. If one has to read one non-fiction book about Arab-British P-2-P (people to people) interaction in pre-1948 Palestine, this is the one. The Proustian-like recalling of school days is a very powerful sub-genre of quasi-biographycal literature. If done with honesty and frankness it's like a psychoanalitical key to the author's positions and ideology. Not that what we are or what we defend is a crude result of our chidhood troubles as seen through the spectacles of Professor Freud . But it helps to explain (to ourselves and to third parties) some of the emphasis we choose to put in our discourse. The emotional underscoring, so to speak, of one's political bettings.
I read Said's auto-bio back to back with another book (" Sharon And My Mother-in-Law - Ramallah Diaries") by another American-educated Palestinian, this time centered on Ramallah during the the Second Intifada. Ms Suad Amiry is an eloquent example of the smiling gentle hard-nut toughness of women who have to deal with politics. This blogger of yours is a social machista by geographical birth but a born-again political feminist after experiencing how crucial the contribution of women can be in changing things and societies for the better..
That takes me to a third book, "I Saw Ramallah" by Mourid Barghhouti, about which I've blogtexted about last year. http://praiagrande.blogspot.com/2005/05/mourid-barghouti.html