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A Passion for Learning
A Passion for Learning

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A Passion for Learning

“A Passion for Learning: The Life Journey of Khalil Totah, a Palestinian Quaker Educator and Activist” is a wonderful portrait of the life of renowned Palestinian educator Dr. Khalil Totah written by his daughter, Joy Totah Hilden. The part-personal-memoir, part-history is a compilation of memory and research, which is abundantly documented by the more than 500 endnotes and the fourteen appendices. Not only does “A Passion for Learning” provide an insider’s view into the remarkable life of Khalil Totah; the reader is additionally treated to a rarely seen perspective, the Palestinian perspective, into the ravages meted out to Palestine and her people during the early twentieth century – ravages which continue to this day.

As I read through this remarkable biography, I kept thinking how much I would have wanted to meet Dr. Totah. What an incredibly strong and principled human being he was! And how dedicated he was to learning, to his students, and to Palestine, his country. Doubly motivated by learning for its own sake and by devotion to his country, Khalil Totah, despite his peasant background, ultimately received a Ph.D. degree from New York City’s Columbia University in 1926, when he was forty years old. In 1944, Khalil Totah finally came to terms with the fact that his life in Palestine, along with the lives of his American wife and their three children, was at risk. Accordingly, the Totah family left Palestine in 1944 and settled in the United States, where Dr. Totah became the Executive Director of the Institute of Arab American Affairs in New York City. Faced with constant hostility and insurmountable obstacles, Dr. Totah died at the age of 69, eleven years after arriving in the United States.

This is one book that should not escape the attention of anyone who is interested in human rights.
By Alice D. Kisc

· Paperback: 454 pages

· Publisher: XLIBRIS (2016)

· Language: English

· ISBN-13: 978-1524551896

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