Testimonies

 The following samples of individuals who read my book:

March 1, 2013

Hi Jacob, I have recently finished reading, “Born in Jerusalem, Born Palestinian” and it is a gem. A moving and sad personal memoir of a racist colonization project based on a religious and ethnic exclusiveness (orthodoxy). I believe that personal accounts like yours are an important way to introduce people with an open mind to the complexities of the anti-zionist struggle. Best wishes to you and your family and for further widespread reading of your beautiful memoir.TT

September 26, 2012

“Jacob, I hope you are well. I just inhaled your fascinating book on the plane on my way to Winnepeg. A beautiful piece of work! I commend you and congratulate you for this document for posterity and for all of humanity. I will see you soon.” JC

July 25, 2012

“Jacob, Thank you for volunteering your time Sunday morning to come and speak to SF. Your enriched our minds in all that you do. Thank you for sharing your book, energy, talents and time.” SF

July 23, 2012

“Dear Jacob, I have followed your book successes through WRMEA and other mutual friend. You made us all feel proud. Keep it up my dear. It’s people like you who bring honor to our stolen dignity. Much love,” MO

June 20, 2012

“Jacob, I am excited to read your remembrance of your family’s story & journey! Congratulations on getting it written & published. Blessings,” MH

June 14, 2012

“Dear Jacob, I have intended dropping you a note ever since I finish reading your book several     weeks ago. First, you are a terrific writer and I hope you will continue writing.  I am hardly a literary critic, but your style of writing, whether it relates to moments of joy, daily life, or the sad and tragic moments in the book, is good at creating rich images which are easily to imagine and relate to throughout the book. Second, it is rewarding to know about your personal history and family and all that you and your family have been through over the years, but particularly during your childhood and early adult life. Third, you have given me a better understanding of what went on in Palestine during the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s.  It becomes far more tragic when viewed from the perspective of a family and what was lost.  It also gives me a better perspective of why things remain so polarized today. Thank you for writing this book. Best regards”. DS

June 7, 2012

“Dear Jacob, I am so sorry not to have written to you before – with the end of term activities and travel, I wasn’t able to read your memoirs until quite recently.  I have enjoyed it very much!  It isn’t openly political, but I think that simply by telling the facts as you experienced them, it makes a very strong political case – and probably more powerfully this way”. JN

June 14, 2012

“Jacob, I was gratified to read from the critics that your book is being as well received as it deserves.  Again, congratulations on a job well done.  Only someone who has attempted to write himself can begin to appreciate the amount of work and concentration writing requires.  And the trick is to make it seem easy, readable, entertaining and informative – and you have succeeded on all counts”. JO

May 23, 2012

“Mr. Nammar, I enjoyed your “Born in Jerusalem” memoir and was enlightened with the facts.  I had no idea of the injustice. When living in Boulder, CO I worked for an Arab doctor who asked me if I was prejudice.  I told him No, why would I be?!  I was not aware of the struggles the Palestinians endured under Israeli rule. Thank you for bringing this to our attention”. KK

May 21, 2012

“Jacob Nammar’s book: Born in Jerusalem, Born Palestinian tells a story of life in the Jerusalem since the current trauma brought on by the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. Read Jacob Nammar’s memoir of the suffering of his family, other families of Palestinians displaced from their homes, and his struggle to understand what was transpiring”. TH

June 11, 2012

“Jacob Nammar yearns for his people – the Palestinians – to regain their homeland from the Zionists – the Jews who run the government of the State of Israel – who have wrestled it away from the Palestinians, seeking their own homeland which they had subsequently lost but who claim was promised to them by their god. It is a struggle – a domestic quarrel between the descendants of Jacob and Esau, the two sons of Isaac, the son of Father Abraham. It helps if a person knows something about the story of Abraham and his children which is told in the Holy Bible”. TH

May 14, 2012

“My dearest Jacob, What a lovely review—heartfelt and tender.  It is a very good book and I am pleased to have it.  Thank you for writing your story—perhaps those who cannot learn from the dry history of events can learn from the heart of a Palestinian.  We continue to pray for an end to the occupation, but I worry that time is not on our side”. JK

May 14, 2012

“Dear Jacob, I am very touched by your response and that means the world to me.  One day, we will all walk hand in hand in the beauty of our homeland, free, in Jerusalem, Palestine, city faith.  I guess, your book was my response to Palestine Day, May 15.  How appropriate is that!!  Best wishes. Much appreciation, your sister in the struggle,” LD

May 14, 2012

“Dear Jacob, Another feather in your cap. I lent your book to a friend and this is what she wrote: “Thank you for lending me this book. I found it deeply moving. The contrast between the authors’ idyllic childhood and the later events of devastation and oppression is powerful. Besides information, I received from Nammar’s account the profound emotion and pain of being uprooted and dispossessed. Israeli inhumanity toward the Palestinians is totally criminal.” PP

May 21, 2012

“Jacob, is there room for one more voice in the chorus of congratulations? I am so proud of your accomplishment so professionally presented. I wish you every blessing”. SN

May 21, 2012

“Dear Jacob: I had a dream about you last night that you had 799 great grandchildren and that they were around the world each with many children. and we had a rotating earth with were they were and showed points of light.   I do not know if this is a metaphor for something (like spread of knowledge/ideas). Stay well my friend”, MQ

May 6, 2012

“Wow….fantastic review!!!!!!!!!  Congratulations!!!!” DD

May 6, 2012

“Your book and your story is what will open up hearts and ears to listen to Palestinians from a personal experience. People should hear it from people like you, not from the current media. I posted your link on Facebook”. LS

May 6, 2012

“CONGRATULATIONS! We need to do a nationwide press release for your book. Let me know if I can help”. SH

May 6, 2012

“Bravo Jacob; it is a very moving story of your family and a brave columnist supporting your narrative, Kudos”. SE

May 6, 2012

“Dear Jacob, My brother Ibrahim who lives in London has ordered several books for his friends. We speak at least once a week and invariably items from your book crop up. Ibrahim is 85 years old and left Palestine for Wales in 1947.” RA

May 6, 2012

“What a wonderfully powerful article on your life-story. barakat – blessings”.  NP

May 6, 2012

“This is exactly the kind of review I would have wanted!  Congratulations!” CT

May 6, 2012

“That was an accurate and excellent review! I love you uncle”. MA

May 6, 2012

“That’s wonderful Dad!  What a great review!!!” JT

May 6, 2012

“BRAVO! It is such a powerful review and such a powerful book! I am very glad he was able to publish this review here! All good wishes,” NN

May 5, 2012

“Uncle Jacob, I am very proud of you that was an awesome review”.  MH

May 9, 2012

“Wonderful, Jacob. Mabrook!” MM

May 9, 2012

“Congratulations on this review, Jacob!  This is the first one I’ve seen. Thanks,” JF

May 9, 2012

“Jacob, Congratulations!! What a wonderful review — very thorough and to-the-point. I hope that it will spread readership of your book! I hope all is well. Best,” LU

May 2, 2012

“Daoud; I already held you in high esteem, but after reading Jacob’s book my esteemed went higher. I now realize that you are a man who as a young man personally negotiated the return of your Father from exile in Jordan and you are a person who was a member of a truly remarkable family who endured and conquered life and a family who thrived in life even though your family was subjected to unbelievable challenges and injustices is hard to fathom. The book was one of the most astounding stories I have ever read and I thank you for the gift of the book and wonderfulness of our friendship. Hope to see you soon, your friend and fan,” B

May 2, 2012

“Daoud, My thoughts and prayers are with   you and your family during these difficult times. I am so sorry about the passing of your sister, Fahima, and as I read   about her and your remarkable family in your brother’s book, I could not help   to feel sadness for all the people in the book.  The description of Fahima being the one who helped your Mother with the younger children and the part telling how she was such a great seamstress made me feel warmth and   sadness for her at the same time. I finished the book yesterday and realized it might be the day of her funeral and prayed for your family. I know it may not help, but several years ago I read in Tuesday with Morrie whereas Morrie was dying he told the author, Mitch: “Death ends a   life, but NOT a relationship” and I thought of that as I read the book about your remarkable family and the loss of your sister.   With the many   hardship and struggles Jacob describes in his book I know the love and caring   and the spirit of your sister will live on and on in the hearts of her   family. One last thing, Daoud is that when I read a book I make notes and later type them in a word document for later reference and I did this with the book you gave me and I wondered in the future if you have time if you could review the attached and correct anything’s I messed up on? Thank you and I am sending you a cyber hands clasp and a pat on the back to try and comfort you. Your friend and fan,” B

May 16, 2012

“My good poet-friend Jim Havelin, a liberal Jew from NY and his artist-wife Lucia LaVilla, a nice Italiana, both enjoyed the review and thought it was fair and honest. They look forward to reading your book, which my Carmen is now reading. Pax,” RB

May 1, 2010

“First of all, my heartfelt sympathies to you and the whole Nammar family on the death of  Fahima. It was a shock to learn that she had died.  I well remember her: rather tall, black hair, flashing eyes and a ready smile – a really beautiful girl. Jacob, ….gave you excellent advice for your book is all the more effective in describing simply and truthfully what it was like as a young Palestinian growing up in such an atmosphere, The pathos is offset by the humor and the character of Zionism and the treatment of the Palestinians become even clearer in the reflections of one who has suffered from them.  Your book is much more damning of Zionism than almost anything else I have read for it comes from your heart, from your own experiences.  Again, congratulations on a superb book!” JO

April 28, 2012

“Jacob, Thanks for sending the four copies of your memoirs…I so enjoyed reading your book. It was very meaningful for me as I associate with your past experiences in our beloved city of Jerusalem. Inshallah some day there will be peace with justice for our people. With my warm regards,” MAT

April 27, 2012

“Dear Jacob, I’m still a bit groggy, having slept rather poorly last night. Your book arrived yesterday morning (many thanks for sending it to me) and I spent the day reading it.  It brought back so many memories and was so thought-provoking that I had trouble sleeping. I have to admit, I approached it with some trepidation.  I’ve read several books written about the plight of the Palestinians and too many of them are (understandably) full of hatred, bitterness and recriminations that do absolutely nothing to advance the cause of the Palestinian people.  I was afraid your book would fall into that mold. I found myself completely caught up – laughing at some parts, angry and disturbed at others, deeply touched and near tears and – most of all – captivated by the wonderful memories of the Jerusalem I knew and loved. And how much your book brought back – the mahshi warak e’nib your mother used to cook when I came for lunch or dinner (she knew I loved them); your beautiful sister, Fahima, with the long black hair and flashing eyes (she was the first girl I dated in Israel); my tennis partner and good friend, Daoud; and Mihran (“Mike”) whom I knew only fleetingly.  And of course, I remember Father Terrence (he was an American, I believe) as well as another tennis-playing Father, Father Pat, an Irish American  I was especially “thick” with Daoud and, of course, Rizek, Johnny and Zeev. Your description of the Arab food made my mouth water. the warm and tangy taste of khubz u zeit u za’tar, the tempting smell that came from the smoking taboons, and of course, who could ever forget hummus bi-tahini and at the end of the meal,  hot, sweet syrupy qahwah.  And then your mother (or Mrs. Mistakawi) would “read” the grounds and tell us our fortunes. What has surprised me was that during that time (1953-55) I was completely ignorant of the Palestinian side of the story.  I, like most of Americans at that time, was fed on pro-Israeli propaganda – the “good, heroic” Israelis and the “treacherous, cunning” Arabs.  Yes, I saw (and read) “Exodus” and several other films and books along the same vein.  Of course, this was at a time when the terrible deeds of the Holocaust were becoming widely known to the general public and the portrayal of the Israelis – as the “good guys” in a kind of Wild West location – captivated the headlines. Looking back, though, I am still surprised.  Not once did I ever hear any of you (e.g. the Terra Sancta gang) say anything negative or in opposition to Israel.  I was completely in the dark as to your histories and suffering.  I even thought (I’m almost ashamed to write this), that your humble living quarters (your house, the Mistakawi place and Olga Sukkar’s little compound) were “typically Arab” while my Jewish friends had nice apartments or lovely houses.  I never knew that those houses were built by, and belonged to, Palestinians!  In short, seeing you, Johnny, Daoud, etc. mingle with the Jewish kids at the Y, I thought that all was sweetness and light – one big community.  Part of the blame lies with my youth and naivete but I cannot help but think that things were really better in those days.  Maybe Zionist intentions were better concealed at that time and not as open and blatant as they are now.  I don’t know – but it still bothers me that there I was, in the middle of things, and knew so very, very little.  And the places!  First and foremost, the Old City which, to me, defies description.  Ein Karem, of course, though I personally never much cared for it.  Early on, in the autumn of 1953 at a dinner in your home, I met the Muktar of Abu Gosh who invited me to his village for dinner.  A week later, with Fahima and Daoud, I was in Abu Gosh, seated cross-legged around a huge dish of rice and mutton – a scene I’ll never forget.  Later I visited Abu Gosh again with Rizek, Johnny, and Daoud and we stopped at the church where the old French priest (never ever saw him sober), hearing me speaking English, sat down at a wheezy old pump organ and played “God Save The King”!  Later, on my second stay in Israel (1961-65) the Y tennis team always stopped at the Caravan in Abu Gosh for a meal (two years ago, my Israeli friends took me and my wife to the Caravan which is now well known) And Beit Safafa!  Several of the waiters at the Y came from Beit Safafa and one, in particular, I recall – Abu Omer.  He invited me to the village and I still have some great shots of him and his family, of the luxurious and beautiful olive groves, and of the street down the middle of the village, divided into two lanes by a coil of barbed wire.  I wanted to take a picture of two patrols – Jordanian and Israeli – passing one another on either side of the barbed wire but Abu Omer warned me it might get me, and him, into trouble. OK, Jacob, I could go on and on.  I can’t begin to express my thanks, not so much for sending me a copy of the book but for writing it in the first place!  I’ve ordered a dozen copies of it from Amazon (they now have it in stock) and I intend to send copies not only to my family members, but to some of my Israeli friends.  It should be required reading in Israeli schools – but of course, that will never happen.  Look what Israel did to poor Gunther Grass! As a student of Judaism, what I greatly resent is Israel taking on the role as spokesman for the Jewish people.  Israel is not Jewish!  It’s Zionist and there is little resemblance between the two. Hey, look.  I’m an old geezer, less than a year away from 80 but still in reasonably good health and more or less sane.  How I would love to have you here with us!  We could share a glass or two or three of wine and reminisce.  I would also very much like to meet your wife for she must be a wonderful person to write, as she did, about your beloved mother.  Most daughters-in-law are not so kind or appreciative of their mothers-in-law.  So please give some serious thought to our standing invitation. When I finally laid down your book last evening, the first thought that went through my mind was, “How proud Baba would have been of his son who has carried on the best of Nammar tradition!”  I can’t think of a higher compliment. Salaam, Shalom and Peace from your grateful friend”.  JO

April 27, 2012

“Thank you for sending Jacob’s book.  It was an inspiring and sad book to read.    It brought back our youth and adult experiences in our beloved city of Jerusalem.   I ordered four books to give to each of our children.” JM

April 25, 2012

“It’s a very charming book, Jacob, and I’m enjoying it. I like what you write about your family and that time you got “lost” and rescued by the thoughtful lady on her donkey.”  Peace, RB

April 20, 2012

“Dear Jacob, I thoroughly enjoyed your memoir. Your writing filled in a number of gaps in our history for me. I hope your book inspires others to write and share their stories. Nicely done.” AR

April 18, 2012

“Hello Jacob, Thank you very much for the four autographed books which arrived Monday. I mailed one today to my brother in London. We are enjoying reading your book very much. It brings back so many memories.  Your brother David used to eat Sunday dinner with us so I remember him best, other than your dear mother who used to travel all the way from AbuDis to visit us in Mammilla and in Bak’a.  Fadwa and Widad I remember better than Fahima who left the country early on.  Do you remember performing CPR on me when I jumped into the Y pool and took in quite a bit of water. I was about nine years old in my first year at kaytana…You are to be commended for writing your memoirs and publishing. I am encouraging both my brothers to do the same. All the best to you and your family and regards to your sisters and brothers”.   Salamat, MAT

April 7, 2012

“Hi Jacob – I spent the day reading your book. It is too interesting to put down. I finished it just minutes ago. I really enjoyed this glimpse into your past and the history of the Nammars, I’d like to send a copy to my father so that he will understand the background of his children. Thanks for a wonderful book Jacob. You did a really good job. I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to read it. Salam,” YR

April 7, 2012

“Holy Saturday, April 07: A day to read a special book: Born in Jerusalem, Born Palestinian A memoir, by Jacob J. Nammar. To read the book, click on Jacob Nammar Website  Have a blessed day and a joyous Easter!” TN

April 7, 2012

“Jacob’s book came out truly BEAUTIFUL!!!!! I hope it finds many many readers who need to read it!” NN

April 5, 2012

“Dear David and Maggie, I’ve just finished reading Jacob’s book. It’s such a tender rendering of the family life which provided sustenance to all of you through difficult times. I feel I know all of them personally now.

I’m sure many people are unaware of what happened during those years. It’s horrifying and unfortunately the establishment of Israel was highly romanticized. It’s ironic that the country became exactly what they sought to escape.” Best, MW

March 30, 2012

“Hi, I just wanted to write and tell you that I love the book.  It is so beautiful! I love the cover and your writing. I think your publisher did a great job!!  I have read the introduction and the end right now. I need to get through the next couple of weeks of school to read it all.  But it is beautiful and I am so happy for you. You are such a Good writer!!!! Love,” JNT

March 27, 2012

“Dear Jacob, I am so very very very proud to hold such a magnificent book in my hands! Congratulations! What a strong cover! Such beautiful photographs! (Love your high school graduation picture!)   Thank you for all your strong labors and efforts to make this dream a reality. Here’s wishing you some great signing parties and I know if my dad were alive, he would want to be there! (Thank you also for your generous inscription.) It is an honor to have your book and I will keep spreading the word about it. May your book find so many friends and people who NEED TO READ IT as well as want to, because they know and care about this story. Very very happy! Celebrating for you and with you,” NSN

March 27, 2012

“Way to GO, Jacob! Habib”. CT

March 27, 2012

“Congratulations!  Your story certainly needs to be told.  Hopefully, it will reach a wide audience in the United States where the Palestinian side of the conflict continues to be ignored. Again, congratulations! Your old friend,” JO

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One Response to Testimonies

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