To three-year-olds fear is darkness or strangers or thunderstorms. For three-year-old Ibtisam Barakat, fear was felt in every inch of her small body as her family had to suddenly evacuate as war broke out. She ran barefoot with her family, friends, and neighbors to safety, but in a time of such upheaval, she never really felt safe.
Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood tells of the fear of living in Palestine in the 1960’s from the perspective of a very young child who, at the time, had little knowledge of why her life was suddenly so different. The politics stay in the background of this memoir. Instead we focus on life—childhood, culture, language—in spare and moving prose that sheds new light on what it means to grow up surrounded by war. What it means to remember when everyone keeps telling her to forget.