“You have to stay in the square, in Taksim, until the government accepts your demands. Don’t leave it. [Stay] there with your peaceful demonstration, your peaceful strike, sit-in. And I call upon women to join it on a wide scale everywhere, in the squares in different cities, not only in Taksim. Long live the people’s struggle for their rights!”
The Daily Star, 14th June 2012.
Ultimately, the biographer’s major accomplishment is to remake a decades-old revolutionary icon into a living, breathing woman.
Yes, Khaled is an activist and a political voice on contemporary Palestinian affairs and her commitment to her cause has endured. Her wit and bloody-mindedness in the face of occupation have not lessened an iota. In Irving’s portrayal, Khaled is a wife and mother faced with the challenges of raising a family, but one with the additional concerns of a Palestinian refugee and former militant.
That Irving has found space in this light volume for extensive exploration of the evolution of women’s rights within the Palestinian resistance is testament to the author’s economy with words.
“Leila Khaled – Icon of Palestinian Liberation” is an ideal read for those seeking a brief introductory account that neither glorifies or vilifies its subject nor dumbs down the complexity of the context in which she lived and worked.
Read the full article here.
Electronic Intifada, 23rd May 2012
Known primarily for the two aircraft hijacking operations she was involved with in 1969 and 1970, Khaled has since then become a major PFLP activist and leader in her own right. It may come as a surprise, then, that before the publication of Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian Liberation, there was no biography of her (apart from an autobiography in the 1970s). The Electronic Intifada contributor Sarah Irving has set out to right this wrong, and achieves it ably with this exciting little book, newly published by Pluto Press as part of its “Revolutionary Lives” series.
A major strength of the book is that its based mostly on primary source material: interviews with Khaled herself at her home in Amman, Jordan. Irving also dove into the archives, reading seemingly everything there was to be found in English on Khaled.
Full article here.