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A Palestinian activist in Jerusalem chats slogans at a rally supporting anti-government protests in Egypt, Photo: Ryan-Rodrick Beller, Shutterstock A Palestinian activist in Jerusalem chats slogans at a rally supporting anti-government protests in Egypt, Photo: Ryan-Rodrick Beller, Shutterstock

Chapter 2 – An emotional lens on the 2011 Arab uprisings

I became captivated by the languages, culture and history of the Middle East and North Africa during a college semester abroad in Morocco in 1995. Morocco was the center of the world for me for years thereafter … until I had an unexpected opportunity to visit Palestine.I studied at Birzeit University in the West Bank from January to June 2000 and never looked back. In the years that followed, I returned to Palestine nearly every chance I got. Three months into the second intifada, I conducted interviews with about two dozen Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These were published in 2003 as the book Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada.

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