“I was born to Palestinian immigrants in Chicago, Illinois, the second daughter of six children. At the age of ten in 1983, my parents uprooted my siblings and me to Palestine where they’d spent their life savings on a small villa. Their plan all along had been to raise us in their homeland while my father, like many first-generation fathers, continued to work in the States to financially support us,” says Sahar Mustafah, who explores this richly complex inheritance in her fiction. This period was the most formative for her as she found a sense of community and kinship that had evaded her for the first half of her childhood, since she was the only student of colour in a Catholic private school. The Israeli Occupation was a rattling, strange experience but in spite of it, she thrived at an all-girls school in Ramallah. It was then quite difficult for her to return to the States after the first Intifada in 1988 and assimilate back into American culture.
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June - October 2020