DISPLACEMENT, NOSTALGIA AND EXPERIENCE OF RETURN: READING MOURID BARGHOUTI’S I SAW RAMALLAH

Sanobar Hussaini

Abstract


As Boym writes, “Nostalgia is an ache of temporal distance and displacement”, and restorative nostalgia takes care of both of these symptoms. Distance is compensated by intimate experience and the availability of the desired object. Displacement is cured by a ‘return home’ (44). In this article, I study I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti and examine how this return becomes very important for the displaced. I expand on the analysis of nostalgia as a means of creating identity continuity, in the face of displacement, by adding an explicit focus on the experience of return. Set at the borders of Israel and Palestine, I Saw Ramallah, engages with Barghouti's life long struggle with his absence from his home.  More specifically a memoir than a life narrative, it is an important walk through an individual's construction of his self in the moment he returns to the land which has brought him so much joy, and pain.

Keywords: Nostalgia, identity, person, memory, space, interaction, occupation, etc.


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