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They Call me Lioness

Wow, this incredible book shook me, brought me to tears, and yet also inspired me so much at Ahed’s resilience and strength!

Genre: Adult memoir

Ages: 17 plus

Author: Dena Takruri and Ahed Tamimi

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Ahed Tamimi grew up in Bani Saleh, a Palestinian village in the West Bank. Her father is an activist and she is raised seeing her father dragged to Israeli prisons and seeing her village impacted by the settlements that encroach on their land.

She is raised recognizing her second class status as a Palestinian and feeling the real affects of apartheid- whether with the special license plates that Palestinians have to drive their cars with, the special cards they have to identify them, and the many degrading ways they are denied basics like water, electricity, schooling; and safety.

And one day, when she sees her cousin shot in his head right in front of her, she is enraged. She marches over to the Israeli soldiers on her land, and slaps one in the face.

When the video broadcasting this goes viral, soldiers come in the middle of the night and drag 16 year old Ahed to Israeli prisons.

Ahed endures 8 months of abuse, interrogations, and cruel treatment at the hand of the Israeli government, and yet she resists. She resists by studying in prison, by refusing to break in face of the abuse, and in learning her rights under International law.

Ahed emerges from prison a world-wide known activist, and she is determined to be the voice of Palestinians still imprisoned.

Wow! This book took my breath away.

Truly, this book is a must read. While many know of the oppression and war and cruelty Palestinians face, not many of us know the details of this apartheid regime. This book is a must to read, both in informing the reader about the situation, and also to ask ourselves what role we play in this injustice. Ahed is strong, but she shouldn’t have to be!!

As Ahed says- Palestinians don’t want pity or money. They want action.


And as Ahed remains hopeful, so does the reader, that one day, Palestine will be free!


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