Harvest and don’t Stare!
Hussein Lubani was born in 1939 in El Damoun in Palestine, but currently lives in Tripoli in Lebanon. His love of reading, writing and learning led him to pursue a career as a teacher, author, hakawati (storyteller) and historian. His passion for books, poetry and culture has provided him with the survival tools that enabled him to resist the cultural destruction that has been inflicted on him, his family and the Palestinians since 1948. Hussein Lubani was nine years old when El Damoun, the agricultural village that his extended family had resided in for generations, was ethnically cleansed by Israeli militia. All of the village’s inhabitants were forced from their homes. The village was completely destroyed soon after its occupation. Hussein recalls the confusion and sadness he felt as he was forced to abandon his friends and neighbours, as well as the farm animals that he had cared for. His world was turned upside down when his family was displaced from their home during the upheaval that Palestinians call the Nakba. As the oldest child, he took his grandmother by the hand leading her through narrow paths and unmarked trails, as the family escaped the militias. For nearly three months, the Lubanis were repeatedly displaced from village to village, as the wave of violence moved across Palestine.