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Keeping the Dream Alive: One Woman's Quest for Justice

posted on: Feb 28, 2024

In 1969, Israeli soldiers burst into Terry Ahwal’s home while she and her family were eating breakfast. More than fifty years later, she still vividly sees her father’s arms up in the air while young soldiers kick him, hit him, and beat him with their automatic weapons. Her mother’s shouting and pleading are also seared in Terry’s memory. And she still has visions of her and her sister howling from terror as they watched their father dragged into the street.

Keeping the Dream Alive: One Woman’s Quest for Justice is Terry Ahwal’s story. It details her years growing up as a Palestinian Catholic under Israeli occupation, her reluctant immigration to the United States as a teenager, and her daily battles in becoming a Palestinian American who cares deeply about both her homeland and her adopted country.

As Terry has ascended to professional and political life in mainstream America, she also has endured harassment by the Israeli government for daring to speak on behalf of Palestinians. As an adult, she witnessed further horrors when she returned to Palestine with Jewish and Palestinian colleagues and a U.S. senator on an economic mission. She has since been banned from returning.

Her goal is not to cast aspersions against the Israeli people but to support her fellow Palestinians, who have endured much hardship under Israeli rule, and to realize her dreams of seeing a lasting, just peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

Keeping the Dream Alive is an accurate depiction of the Palestinian story under Israeli occupation. It is a great way to learn history from a person who lived it firsthand. Many times. This memoir provides an insight into how the Palestinian people endure because of the Israeli occupation.

The memoir by Terry Ahwal is an eye-opener. It is a personal story that provides a perspective that is too often drowned in the plight and pain Palestinian people have suffered for far too long. Americans should reach a “Vietnam moment” and seriously question what we are doing as a nation to support the human suffering and slaughter of innocent people being perpetuated in Gaza against the Palestinian people. Yet the author asks the world to step back and take action to bring Justice for the generational pain and suffering.

Terry’s story is the story of the Palestinian people. In this beautiful story, Terry weaves the tale of her life. She describes in detail the daily lives of her neighborhood, its beauty, and its connection to the land. She provides the reader with an insight into her people and their culture. She vividly recalls the rich culture of her neighborhood and the many celebrations of life before the Israeli occupation. She paints a kaleidoscope and tapestry of her family and the many people who enriched her childhood.

As you read this, you will see a young girl leading an everyday life. You will see a young girl trembling in fear as bombs explode near her house. You will see a young girl watching her father beaten by soldiers in his own home. You will see an assassination through the eyes of a child. You will see a girl ripped from her home and taken to a new country, a young girl working long hours to help keep her family afloat, a young woman learning to fit into a new land, a young American who has not forgotten the land she left behind, and an adult woman who mixes with presidents and prime ministers.

Keeping the Dream Alive is a timely account of the disposition, abuse, and terror faced by the Palestinian people. Terry’s story is a story of many tragedies, enduring love, resiliency, and unmatched hope.  

The book can be purchased at Here.

Complied by Arab America

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