I want to thank Majda al-Sakka for our intense talks, Khaled Abu Zaid for sharing his knowledge and his cigarettes, and helping me setting up interviews, Fatma al-Ghossan for taking me home with her and sharing a few women’s secrets, Rula Halawani for her friendship and for taking me places I would never have found without her.
I want to thank Trees Zbidat-Kosterman and Ali Zbidat, who taught me what it is like to survive as Palestinians in Israel, who took me to Akko, Haifa, Nazareth, and Arab al-Naim, and shared happy meals and sunshine with me on the roof of their new house in Sakhnin.
I want to thank my friends from the Society of Physically Handicapped People, and those from the National Center for Community Rehabiliation, Ramadan Hussein, who took me to visit his grandfather, Fatma’s family in Gaza and in Nuseirat Camp, who have shown me so much hospitality, Leila Shahid for once saying to me: Anja, I will give you a crash course on Palestinians (I did not fail you, Leila, did I?), Dr. Haider Abdel Shafi for his encouraging words when my first book came out and for sharing his thoughts, Hanan Ashrawi, Dr. Eyad el-Sarraj, Nahida Abu Dakka, Maryam Abu Dakka, and so many others who talked to me and showed me around and taught me that all the stories about Palestinian hospitality are true.
Many thanks also to all the people I was allowed to interview from Terre des Hommes, Ard al Insan, Cana’an Society. I thank the Palestinian Writers Union, LAW and Gaza Community Mental Health Programme for their conferences, and the women from the ‘Engendering the Peace Process’ conference.
In Israel, the Other Israel, I thank Jessica Montell, Eitan Felner and Mazen Dandis from B’Tselem, Hannah Friedman from P’CATI, Tikva Honig-Parnass and Michael Warshawski from the Alternative Information Center, Uri Avnery, Adam Keller and Beate Zilverschmidt from Gush Shalom, Tamar Pelleg, the people from Phycisians for Human Rights and Ruchama Marton, the people from Ru’at Sadaka.
I thank the staff at Jeruzalem Hotel, at Educational Bookshop, and at Al Saqi Books in London, who provided a wonderful service in sending me everything I asked for.
Jaap Jansen. Freerk Teunissen, for his comments. And Mia van Boxtel. And, always, Anneke Jos Mouthaan.
I thank many women and men, fellow travellers and friends if only for a few shared hours, for making me feel that I’m part of a community of people who, against all odds, refuse to give up on the dream of peace and justice and a better world, where there will be bread and love, enough for everybody.
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