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The Roundtable

"Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family" by Najla Said

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  Najla Said could be called the “Eloise” of Academia. Growing up in New York City as the daughter of Edward Said, the famous Palestinian intellectual, and a sophisticated Lebanese mother, it wasn’t rare for Najla to answer the door as a young girl to world-renowned scholars; to sit in on heated political discussions over dinner or to receive a kiss on the cheek by Yasir Arafat.

Yet in spite of her extraordinarily cultured and colorful upbringing, Najla admits to being a young American girl who simply wished to fit in and who often felt conflicted about her cultural background and identity.

Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family is her memoir born out of Najla’s hugely popular one-woman show, Palestine, which had a nine-week sold-out run Off Broadway.

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