About the Book

A Country of Words

A Country of Words

A Palestinian Journey from the Refugee Camp to the Front Page
April 2009
Hardcover · 285 Pages
$29.95 U.S. · $32.95 CAN
ISBN 9780863566219
Saqi Books

 

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Description

“Atwan's 1996 interview with bin Laden in his Afghanistan redoubt was one of the first and remains one of the best. Atwan ‘got it’ from the moment bin Laden appeared on the scene… . What many [Muslims] hate is not the American people but American foreign policy.”—Michael Scheuer, the founding head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit, in The Washington Post review of The Secret Life of al-Qa'ida

In A Country of Words, Abdel Bari Atwan shares his many extraordinary encounters, including tea with Margaret Thatcher, a weekend with Osama bin Laden, intimate meetings with Yasser Arafat, and the row between Colonel Gaddafi and the Shah of Iran that earned him his first journalistic break. But his is also a touching personal journey, none more so than when he describes taking his London-born children back to meet his family living in a Palestinian refugee camp.

I was offered a bed, sharing a cave with Osama bin Laden himself. This “bed” was a mattress lying across several crates of grenades, with an arsenal of rifles and machine guns suspended from the ceiling above, which—together with a cockerel outside who wouldn't stop crowing—did not make for an easy night’s sleep. Bin Laden had no such problems and slumbered like a baby until dawn, his kalashnikov at his side.

Born in Gaza in 1950, Abdel Bari Atwan left at age seventeen and has since become one of the world’s foremost commentators on the Middle East. For the last twenty years he has edited the independent Arabic daily, London-based al-Quds al-Arabi. He is the author of The Secret History of al-Qa'ida.

About the Author

Born in Gaza in 1950, he left aged seventeen and has since become one of the world's foremost commentators on the Middle East, for the last twenty years editing the independent Arabic daily, London-based al-Quds al-Arabi. He appears frequently on TV news as an expert upon Middle East Affairs.