Karmi, Ghada

Ghada Karmi

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Ghada Karmi ((born 1939) is a Palestinian doctor of medicine, author and academic. She writes frequently on Palestinian issues in newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, The Nation and Journal of Palestine Studies. She is a fellow and lecturer at the Institute of Arab & Islamic studies at Exeter University.

Karmi was born in Jerusalem to a Muslim family. Her father, Hassan was Palestinian while her mother was Syrian. In her 2002 autobiography, In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story, she describes growing up in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Katamon, with its mixture of Palestinian Christians and Muslims. Among the family friends and neighbors was Khalil al-Sakakini and his family. Her family fled Jerusalem in 1948, and their family villa was seized by Israel. In 1983 the New York Times bought it and installed its correspondents on a second story structure built onto the Karmi villa. The Karmi family received no compensation for the confiscation. The family eventually settled in the predominantly Jewish neighbourhood of Golders Green, in London, England, where her father, Hasan Sa'id Karmi, worked for the BBC Arabic service.

She studied and became a doctor of medicine, graduating from the University of Bristol in 1964. Initially Karmi practised as a physician, specialising in the health and social conditions of ethnic minorities, migrants and asylum seekers. Since 1972 she has been politically active for the Palestinian cause and gained a doctorate in the history of Arabic medicine from London University.

In 1998 she visited her childhood home in Katamon for the first time since 1948.

She is an associate fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, and a visiting professor at London Metropolitan University. She is also vice-chair of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU)

She delivered the Edward Said Memorial lecture at the University of Adelaide, Australia in October, 2007