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Review Of "I Am A Palestinian Christian" By Raheb

1323 words - 5 pages

I Am A Palestinian Christian Review"Is there such a thing as a Christian Palestinian or Palestinian Christian?" (Raheb, 3) is one of the many questions that Mitri Raheb tries to tackle and answer in his novel, I Am A Palestinian Christian. Raheb is a Palestinian Christian pastor who ministers in Bethlehem and has a first hand experience at what other Palestinian Christians face in that region. He writes his novel with the intention of being a mediator between the Western Christian world and the Palestinian Christian community. He wants each side to understand each others struggles and he feels that by educating the Palestinian Christian community and helping them develop a local theology, it might help reduce some of the conflicts that are taking place in Israel and Palestine.Raheb's book is organized into twelve chapters, including a forward, conclusion and an appendix which helps give the reader a better and deeper understanding of the region. The appendix includes the Declaration of Independence for the State of Palestine, official statements given by leaders of Christian communities, and articles from the agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area.People have different ways of identifying themselves and Raheb traces his background mainly in the opening paragraphs of his first chapter. He emphasizes mostly on religion and identifies himself as a devout Christian. His emphasis on religion as his identity is different from other authors that write about their life in the Palestinian or Israeli regions. David Horovitz, for example, is a Jew, and although he makes it clear in his novel that religion is very important to him, he identifies himself more with the land of Israel. Another author, Fadia Faqir, is a Muslim, but identifies herself more with her ethnicity. The Multiple Identities of the Middle East by Bernard Lewis, helps readers better understand that there are many different ways as to how people identify themselves.Raheb writes that there were many reasons why the Christians left Jerusalem. First of all, they were frustrated with the Arab/Israeli conflict and their failure to reach an agreement. Also, there has always been the lack of democracy and inferiority complex. Some Christian parents leave for the sake of their children and their safety. Raheb believes that this major emigration from the Holy Land will only lead to ruins. Palestinian Christians are a minority, yet their religion in the Western world is powerful. For example, the sign of the cross in Palestine symbolizes the suffering church, but in the Western world, it stands for power and expansion. Raheb states thatbeing in the Holy land makes it hard to leave your country behind and let it become something like a theme park, where you just go back to tour and visit, but it is hard to stay because of the oppression. Raheb claims that many of the Christians were refugees driven away from their homes and that in the 1950's there was much economic neglect. During the...

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