The book opens with the image of Khaled preparing to board and hijack flight TWA on August 29, However, far more time is spent on the full span of her life.
This includes fleeing her home as a four year old during the Nakba of , and her years of work on the Palestinian National Council and the General Union of Palestinian Women after her involvement in two hijackings. Sarah Irving's book is a must-read for anyone wishing to study Khaled's life; the primary source for many of the sections, particularly those beyond the notorious hijackings of and , are a week of interviews that Irving conducted with Khaled in her Amman home in These interviews shed light on a variety of topics poorly documented elsewhere, such as the role played by the organised women's movement among the Palestinians.
Irving compares them with the occasionally differing records of events held by others on the Palestinian left or in other published accounts to tease out the different narratives of the resistance's history.
Khaled's comments on the jailing or resignation of cadres of the Popular Front in the s and the rise of Hamas as the alternative to the dominant Fatah leadership, as well as her positive assessment of the role the Arab Spring revolutions and the consequent March 15 movement in Palestine, also show her as a Marxist thinker still firmly grounded in the Palestinian struggle of today.
Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. Leila Khaled's example gives unique insights into the Palestinian struggle through one remarkable life - from the tension between armed and political struggle, to the decline of the secular left and the rise of Hamas, and the role of women in a largely male movement.
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Life and struggles of Leila Khaled, Palestinian hero, detailed in book
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Related Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian Liberation (Revolutionary Lives)
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