Defending Haifa and the Problem of Palestine: The Memoirs of Rashid al-Haj Ibrahim, 1891-1953


These memoirs of Rashid al-Haj Ibrahim cover the period of the Palestinian struggle prior to the fall of the city of Haifa, i.e. from November 1947 to April 1948. Rashid al-Haj Ibrahim was a well-known militant and one of the most prominent Palestinian leaders during the Mandate period, who led the resistance in the city until its fall to the Zionist forces.

The author wrote his memoirs in Amman, Jordan, where he took refuge after the Nakba (1948 Catastrophe) and as a consequence of its immediate impact, in order to reveal to the Palestinian people the facts concerning the responsibility of the Palestinian leadership regarding what happened, exposing its performance and political discourse during the years of the British Mandate. These memoirs represent a rare addition to the literature of Arab political self-criticism, and an unparalleled Palestinian text on the Nakba and its causes from the standpoint of an eye-witness of a member of the Palestinian political elite. 

Walid Khalidi wrote a lengthy introduction about the author and his national struggle, and the political situation in Palestine in the wake of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1917 through the British Mandate period and the Nakba of 1948, up to the death of Rashid al-Haj Ibrahim in Amman in 1953.

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About the Author(s)

Rashid AL-HAJ IBRAHIM was born in Haifa in 1891. He actively contributed for three decades in its political, social, and economic life. He attended the First Syrian Conference and all the Palestinian national conferences as a representative of his city, and founded with his colleagues the Palestinian Independence Party. He was a very close friend of Sheikh Izz al-Din al-Qassam, and became one of Palestine's most prominent leaders during the Mandate period, and was imprisoned and exiled by its authorities. He was privy to the most intimate details of the Palestinian National Movement and endeavors, and led the resistance in Haifa up to its occupation in April 1948. He died in Amman, Jordan in 1953, and was buried in Damascus.

Introduction by:Walid Khalidi

Born in Jerusalem, Walid Khalidi was educated at the University of London and Oxford University.  He taught at Oxford, the American University of Beirut, and Harvard.  Khalidi is a cofounder of the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS, Beirut), of which he was general secretary until recently.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a cofounder of the Royal Scientific Society, Amman.  He currently serves as President of the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPSUS, Washington, DC).


Institute for Palestine Studies
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Language: Arabic
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