The Diaries of Khalil Sakakini. Volume Five, Part 2: Between Father and Son, The Letters of Khalil Sakakini to his Son Sari in America, 1933-1934
Akram Mousallam
Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre, Ramallah, and The Institute of Jerusalem Studies
Publication Year: 
Number of Pages: 
المعلمون الفلسطينيون
صور عن فلسطين
صور فندق الملك داود
صور باب الخليل
جمعية الشبان المسيحيين
سري السكاكيني

In this book, Khalil Sakakini continues his correspondence with his son Sari in America during the years 1933 and 1934. At first glance, the letters may seem like casual chats between father and son, but they soon reveal themselves to be a rich source of social and political information, conveying prevailing attitudes, concerns, fears, and dreams. The time and place, as well as the identity of the author, endow these letters with further significance. It is evident from these letters that Sakakini insisted on keeping up with the latest developments in education and the most recent pedagogical theories, through his son. He sought to stay abreast of modern methods of pedagogy in order to develop his own educational textbooks, which were used throughout the Arab world for many years. In these letters, Sakakini engages with the latest paradigm shifts in the social sciences, especially psychology and sociology, demonstrating the extent to which Palestinian cultural life was actively involved in addressing the cultural and existential issues of the day during the first third of the twentieth century. The elder Sakakini, who was in his forties at the time he wrote these letters, was haunted by feelings of alienation and disappointment, which sometimes overcame him to the point that he lost hope in everything and considered leaving his homeland. However, he eventually re-engaged with the task of confronting the threats facing Palestine, in his writing, speaking, and teaching. This book is neither entirely a work of history nor a work of literature. Rather, it consists of pieces of a mosaic.


Khalil Sakakini (1878 - 1953) is a Palestinian writer and educator. Born in Jerusalem, Sakakini's early life was devoted to Arab letters. During the mandate period, Sakakini continued his advocacy of public education. He participated in the early Palestinian national movement, and his diaries are an important source for scholars of the period. He is best remembered for his books on teaching Arabic to beginners.

Read more