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The quest for his great-uncle Najib Nassar an Ottoman journalist the details of his life and the route of his great escape from occupied Palestine consumed award-winning writer Raja Shehadeh for two years. As he traces Najibs footsteps he discovers that today it would be impossible to flee the cage that Palestine has become. A Rift in Time is a family memoir written in luminescent prose but it is also a reflection on how Palestine in particular the disputed Jordan Rift Valley has been transformed. Most of Palestines history and that of its people is buried deep in the ground: whole villages have disappeared and names have been erased from the map. Yet by seeing the bigger picture of the landscape and the unending struggle for freedom as Shehadeh does it is still possible to look towards a better future free from Israeli or Ottoman oppression.

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