MEMO‘s Conversations spoke to Palestinain-American author Rifk Ebid to discuss her recent children’s book ‘Baba, What Does my Name Mean?’. The book has been nominated for the Palestine Book Awards 2020 and came in highly recommended by our panel of judges. Rifk has a JD from George Mason University, an MA in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University, and an MA in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Northern Colorado. She has worked extensively in the field of human rights and media advocacy with various human rights organisations in the US and the UAE.
Born and raised in the United States, Rikf is originally Palestinian, hailing from Khalil (Hebron) and Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Rifk shared the story of her book about a girl named Samadh whose curiosity about the meaning behind her name takes her on a journey over the main regions and cities of Palestine. She shared with us the importance and the role of children’s books in restoring the indginous voices. “When you are dealing with an ideology that motivates the politics of the coloniser and in this case what Zionism is to Israel, these types of ideologies really highly depend upon one particular narrative or on one particular version of history,” she writes. “If you have a competing narrative like that of the indginous population or of that like the Palestains” it “is considered a threat to the coloniser,” she continues.
Her book aims to allow Palestinians to reclaim their narrative. “I believe every Palestinain published on not, we all have to write our story, all indgouis people we have to tell our stories,” she urges.
Rifk shares the importance of learning about racism and having such conversations with children to equip them to deal with similar issues.