They Called Me a Lioness: A Palestinian Girl's Fight for Freedom
A Palestinian activist jailed at sixteen after a confrontation with Israeli soldiers illuminates the daily struggles of life under occupation in this moving, deeply personal memoir.
“I cannot even begin to convey the clarity, the intensity, the power, the photographic storytelling of They Called Me a Lioness.”—Ibram X. Kendi, internationally bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Kirkus Reviews
“What would you do if you grew up seeing your home repeatedly raided? Your parents arrested? Your mother shot? Your uncle killed? Try, for just a moment, to imagine that this was your life. How would you want the world to react?”
Ahed Tamimi is a world-renowned Palestinian activist, born and raised in the small West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, which became a center of the resistance to Israeli occupation when an illegal, Jewish-only settlement blocked off its community spring. Tamimi came of age participating in nonviolent demonstrations against this action and the occupation at large. Her global renown reached an apex in December 2017, when, at sixteen years old, she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier who refused to leave her front yard. The video went viral, and Tamimi was arrested.
But this is not just a story of activism or imprisonment. It is the human-scale story of an occupation that has riveted the world and shaped global politics, from a girl who grew up in the middle of it . Tamimi’s father was born in 1967, the year that Israel began its occupation of the West Bank and he grew up immersed in the resistance movement. One of Tamimi’s earliest memories is visiting him in prison, poking her toddler fingers through the fence to touch his hand. She herself would spend her seventeenth birthday behind bars. Living through this greatest test and heightened attacks on her village, Tamimi felt her resolve only deepen, in tension with her attempts to live the normal life of a daughter, sibling, friend, and student.
An essential addition to an important conversation, They Called Me a Lioness shows us what is at stake in this struggle and offers a fresh vision for resistance. With their unflinching, riveting storytelling, Ahed Tamimi and Dena Takruri shine a light on the humanity not just in occupied Palestine but also in the unsung lives of people struggling for freedom around the world.
Ahed Tamimi is a Palestinian activist from Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank. As a child, she rose to global prominence for confronting Israeli soldiers during weekly demonstrations, which led to her imprisonment at the age of sixteen. She is studying international law at Birzeit University and plans to use her degree to advance the struggle for a free Palestine.
Dena Takruri is an award-winning journalist who has reported extensively on the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Europe’s refugee crisis, and other global struggles. The daughter of Palestinian immigrants, Dena was born and raised in the United States, yet spent many summers in Palestine. She is a Senior Presenter and Producer at AJ+ and has previously worked at HuffPost Live and Al Jazeera Arabic.
Publisher: One World
Publication Date: 09/06/2022 - 12:00am
On Sale: 09/06/2022 - 12:00am