13 November, 2008
Allow me first to contextualize my comments, briefly. Hatim and Didi are our personal friends, with whom we socialize, whenever we have the chance, and share our passion for gardening and preservation of nature. I came to know Hatim in the context of mustering funds for the work of the Galilee Society in which, as the book shows, he was fully immersed, professionally, passionately and politically. I was in Geneva then; he was between Arrabyeh and Rameh. Later, Lois and I got to know Hatim and Didi as friends.
This is a rich ethnographic and experiential narrative of local village culture, Hatim’s own village, culture and society. It is documented with immense passion, sensitivity, worry and a high level of personal doubt and torment. This is a narrative of what anthropologists dub as “little culture”, distinguished that is from “big culture”, or systems of beliefs, values, political economic structures, etc. Hatim does well in focusing on the “little culture”, and alludes to the rest.