chapter  6
the key to the house
Pages 10

In a two page essay published in December 1993, the noted Palestinian novelist Anton Shammas, who writes in Hebrew and English (but not Arabic), recounted an event from a few months before. At a news conference, an employee of the Palestine Liberation Organization Information Bureau in Tunis was presented to reporters by an associate. Shammas, who does not name either the woman or her co-worker, describes the scene. This woman, her colleague says, is the "genuine refugee.... Her father keeps in his possession, to this very day, the key to the house that his ancestors left 500 years ago in Al-Andalus, when the Muslims were driven out of Spain after the conclusion of the Reconquista in 1492." (1993, 32-33).