Susan Abulhawa

Susan Abulhawa

Palestinian-American writer and human rights activist
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Susan Abulhawa
  2. Early Life and Background
  3. Education and Career
  4. Literary Achievements and Activism

Biography of Susan Abulhawa

Susan Abulhawa is a Palestinian-American writer and human rights activist, best known as the author of the bestselling book "Mornings in Jenin," which depicts the horrors of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Susan Abulhawa

Early Life and Background

Abulhawa's parents were Palestinian refugees of the 1967 War. Her father was forced out of the country at gunpoint, while her mother, who was studying in Germany at the time, was not allowed to return home. They reunited in Jordan before eventually moving to Kuwait, where Susan was born in 1970. After her family split, Abulhawa was sent to live with her uncle in the United States, where she remained until the age of five. She then moved between different families in Kuwait and Jordan until she ended up in a children's home in Jerusalem at the age of ten. At thirteen, Susan moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where she was adopted. She has remained in the United States ever since.

Susan Abulhawa

Education and Career

Abulhawa studied biology in college and attended the Medical School at the University of Southern California, where she obtained a master's degree in neurology. Later, she transitioned to journalism and literature. Her work has been published in various major and minor American and international newspapers and periodicals.

Susan Abulhawa

In 2000, while traveling through Palestine, Abulhawa was deeply moved by her childhood memories and the echoes of her past on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. This experience marked a turning point in her political activism. When she heard the call to prayer, she realized how much she had missed it and even cried.

Susan Abulhawa

In 2001, Abulhawa launched the charitable project "Playgrounds for Palestine," which aimed to raise funds in the United States and worldwide to build playgrounds and swings for children in Bethlehem and other parts of Palestine.

As a former employee of a pharmaceutical company, Abulhawa visited Jenin as an international observer after the Israeli attack on the refugee camp in 2002. Upon her return to the United States, she tried to convey the truth about the suffering of the people in Jenin to her colleagues but faced rejection, leading to her dismissal from the company.

Literary Achievements and Activism

Abulhawa's debut novel, originally titled "The Scar of David" and later renamed "Mornings in Jenin," was published in 2006. It became a bestseller after its re-release in 2010 and is now available in 26 languages. The novel tells the heart-wrenching story of four generations of a family who face severe trials. It follows the family's struggles during the 1948 exodus of Palestinians, the siege of Lebanon, the massacres in Jenin, and the massacres in Sabra and Shatila. The devastation and suffering faced by ordinary Palestinians are reflected in the protagonist Amal's fight, as her abducted brother Ismael becomes a hater of Arabs under the name of David.

The film rights to "Mornings in Jenin" were acquired by Filmworks Dubai, and the movie was scheduled for production in late 2013. In the same year, Abulhawa released a collection of poems titled "My Voice Sought The Wind."

In addition to her fiction and activism, Susan continues to write on medical topics for journals and pharmaceutical companies.