My Brother, My Land
A Story from Palestine
Sami Hermez, with Sireen Sawalha


Author's Note
Family Tree
chapter abstract

Iyad is visited by Sireen and his mother in prison. Years later, I meet Sireen in Princeton and recount our first encounters and how we came to write her story.

Part I: "Mother Is Going to Give Birth"
chapter abstract

After Sireen returns with her mother and sisters to their village from Jordan, in the wake of the 1967 war, the family begins to build their life. Their rural farming world comes to life as Sireen's other siblings, including Iyad, are born. Around them, Palestine continues to be colonized and they live in the presence of Israeli military occupation.

Part II: "Don't Leave Me Here"
chapter abstract

Sireen leaves for the US. Iyad and his brothers come of age and resist the Israeli military as the intifada breaks out in 1988. Iyad joins an armed resistance group and is involved in confrontations with the Israelis, as well as hunting down Palestinian collaborators. He is captured by the occupation forces and goes through interrogation and torture.

Part III: A Promise and a Pledge
chapter abstract

The Second Intifada breaks out and Iyad becomes increasingly more involved in resistance activities with the Islamic Jihad. His father faces challenging health issues and Sireen takes care of him in the US. Iyad rises within the Islamic Jihad and becomes a central figure in the resistance. The Israelis are on the hunt for him, which impacts the entire family. In the meantime, Iyad searches for a suitable wife.

Part IV: "Hold On to Me"
chapter abstract

A few years later, the Intifada is still ongoing. Sireen's father continues to face major health issues and Sireen tries to support him in Palestine and the US.

chapter abstract

This chapter concludes the book with a reflection after many years have passed and describes what happened to the family members since 2005.