Yearning, A Story of Return
In this heartfelt personal work, Palestinian writer Faysal Hurani relates the story of his return to Gaza in 1995 after the signing of the Oslo Accords, following 46 years of exile as a refugee, in the hope that his return would be the final episode in a series of migrations and wanderings. Hurani asserts that he opposed Oslo on the grounds that it was unjust and would not lead to stability, and he relates how this opposition made it difficult for him to gain permission to return to his homeland. Hurani’s account dwells on the ordeals associated with crossing into the occupied territories and being subject to security checks, the humiliation of Israeli searches, and the difficulties of everyday life for Palestinians under occupation. He details the effects of implementing the Oslo Accords one year after they were signed, concluding that Israel managed to use the accords to achieve its own goals and failed to fulfill its commitments. He also faults the Palestinian leadership for failing to make sure that Israel adhered to its commitments under the accords. Hurani then recounts his eventual disillusionment and subsequent return to his exile in Austria. The book is a kind of autobiographical work, which uses the author’s own experience in moving from one exile to another to illuminate some aspects of the Palestinian refugee experience. It complements the account of his experiences that he related in the five-volume Durub al-Manfa (“Paths of Exile”).