Issue No.
121, May 2008 Latest update 9 2014f August 2014, at 4.39 am
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Rosemary Sayigh

Although Rosemary Sayigh was born and raised in Britain, Beirut is her actual home, and the Palestinians have been her people for more than 50 years now. Married to renowned Palestinian economist Yousef Sayigh and raising three children in the midst of the intensive Palestinian political organising that characterised Lebanon in the 1960s and 1970s, and the subsequent Israeli invasions and civil war in the 1980s, Rosemary Sayigh - anthropologist and oral historian - has produced academic work that is unique in many ways.

In her most recent work, Voices: Palestinian Women Narrate Displacement (2007), Rosemary Sayigh reflects on her own personal arrival in Beirut less than a decade after the Nakba and admits that, despite marriage into a Palestinian family, it was many years before she became aware of the depth of the rupture and devastation caused in 1948.

With sensitivity and care in all her books, Rosemary Sayigh has accomplished the difficult task of letting ordinary Palestinian men and women - those who raise and lose children in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon, and those who create homes that are subsequently demolished - take on a major role in explaining the complex realities of political and armed struggle.

Rosemary Sayigh has been a teacher to generations of academic researchers and a model for those who seek to combine fine academic work with a clear moral stand for justice and the dignity of the person.

Her most recent archive, Voices: Palestinian Women Narrate Displacement (2007) can be found at:

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