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In the fall of 2004 Laila El-Haddad, living in Boston, was sent to Palestine on a reporting assignment. Her son Yousef, then only 9 months old, was still nursing and would make the trip with her. Haddad’s husband would remain in the United States. A cousin of Haddad’s suggested she start a blog to share details of her son’s development, and of the trip, with her husband. That first blog, titled “Raising Yousef”, evolved into her current multi-topic blog “Gaza Mom: Motherhood. Politics. Palestine. And everything in between.” Haddad is a Gaza Palestinian, born in Kuwait. She grew up living in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, with frequent family trips back to Gaza. As a journalist for Al Jazeera she has returned to Palestine often, reporting on politics and the daily trials and tribulations endured by residents of the occupied Palestinian territories. Haddad provides a narrative of the reality on the ground from the perspective of a Harvard graduate, an Arab woman, the wife of a Palestinian refugee barred from returning home, and a mother to two children whose heritage is under assault. In late 2010 the first 5 years of her blog writings were released as a book, “Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between.” In this seamless format readers will experience her astute political analysis and straight-from-heart observations on motherhood in a whole new way.
GUEST: Laila El-Haddad, A Palestinian freelance journalist currently based in Maryland, author of the blog Gaza Mom, and author of the new book, Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between.