Love Life and Press on With Peace by Safa Hamed
A Palestinian Woman’s Journey to Peace
Love Life & Press on With Peace is Professor Safa Hamed’s memoir, and vision for peace in the Holy Land. She aims to bring an awareness of the people of Palestine and give an insight into their everyday lives and the relationship that exists between Palestinians and Israeli people. Safa provides readers with an accessible background of the recent conflicts and history, putting the lives of her people within the context and reaching out to invite understanding.
Her memoir is inspired by the black activist Rosa Parks when Safa was just eight years old. An avid reader, and scholar she spent many days learning with her beloved Grandpa in his fine study. As an educated and well-respected Palestinian mentor to many, her grandpa was a huge influence in Safa’s life. Her memoir recalls how students who studied from all over the world came to pay their respects, and her early life was one filled with forward-thinking and acceptance of others.
As a young child, she recalls the horrors of growing-up in occupied Palestine and the trauma of her beloved brother, Jamal took as a prisoner by the Israelis. Safa is subjected to the regimes of occupation, and her family is separated and forced to live apart. Despite these obstacles, Safa excels in education and achieves everything she sets her mind to. Determined and resolute, she lets nothing stand in her way. With a light-heart and the clever use of language, her memoir is informative and tells of an incredible journey from a young girl to a respected leader.
As a young adult, Safa meets and marries her husband in a whirlwind, seven-day courtship. She is transported from Palestine and a young woman who was constrained by her eldest brother’s strict beliefs, to a young wife in Paris. Her journey of transition from a young Palestinian woman bound by culture to a professor in the States is motivating and inspiring. Safa’s work with young Palestinian and Israeli people to give them new educational opportunities is recalled with humor and anecdotes. It provides insight into the difficulties in moving a peace plan forward – this does not deter Safa. Her work as a professor and lecturer builds on her passion for inspiring and motivating the next generation.
Safa offers up solutions to build on the U.S. Peace Plan put forward in January 2020. Calling for all nations to listen, most notably Palestinians, she strongly points to the importance of taking a step back and look at the many examples across the world where Palestinians and Israelis can begin to live together. Acknowledging the complexity of the situation, Safa understands their needs to be a starting point, and she questions whether the next generation could be the catalyst for this. Discussing the passion and enthusiasm of young people wanting to live in peace across the world, Safa calls for everyone to reach out to others on a human level. She gives moving and compelling examples of how her life has changed because of other people doing the same for her—for instance, her Jewish friend, Abigail, who she shared deep emotional connections and experiences.
Safa believes change results from learning and determined that all should learn about Palestine and its people; her memoir takes the reader from her early childhood up to the present day. It offers hope and inspiration from a successful Palestinian woman who many look up to in everyday life. Safa is careful and considerate in her writing, she does write to offend or to blame, but to raise awareness. She aims to spread the word that Palestinians may be ready to talk and to reassure those who are reticent. She opens the world to Palestine and its beautiful colors, history, culture, and storytelling. Like her grandfather, Safa has the skill of storytelling woven into her dialogue. The magic and beauty of Palestine shine through, and the possibility for peace in the Holy Land becomes a reality.Amazon