This paper aims to shed light on a significant aspect of the Nakba and of Emile Habibi’s oeuvre that has received little if any attention. It examines the ways in which Emile Habibi systematically deals in his literature with the collective trauma of the Nakba as it was experienced by the Palestinians who became citizens of the state of Israel. Through his writings, Habibi seeks to translate his personal experiences into collective knowledge that might help the Palestinian society in Israel work through its traumas. The “Working through” process Habibi sought to instigate involved encouraging an acknowledgment of the reality of the trauma and the new situation it created, and mending the rift in individual and collective identity. Its end was to enable the Palestinian society in Israel to attain critical acclaim on the trauma, thus enabling it to learn from its experience and apply its lessons in the struggle for socio-political change.


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pp. 157-182
Launched on MUSE
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