A Constant Longing – Memoirs of a Palestinian Woman

The moving story of an Arab woman’s brave and difficult journey to independence

Palestine, 1948: Halima Alaiyan, barely a year old, flees her home village of Ibdis, Palestine with her parents and siblings. She grows up as an exile in Egypt, feeling the constraints of Islamic tradition on girls and women. At sixteen, following an arranged marriage, she embarks on an even more restricted and isolated life in Saudi Arabia. She is separated from her children after moving to Germany with her husband, and by the time she reunites her family, her son is seriously ill.

„My dream draws on the future, and reaches across borders and generations… I look to the next generations who will grow up together; generations who can carry this beautiful dream of justice to fruition. What kind of people would we be if we did not believe in a dream of justice and peace for all?”

A Constant Longing is the moving story of an Arab woman’s brave and difficult journey to independence, a hard-won freedom overshadowed by yearning for her homeland and her family.

Dr Halima Alaiyan now lives in Berlin and runs her own practice as an orthopaedic specialist. In 2003, she founded the Talat Alaiyan Foundation, which fosters dialogue and understanding between young people in Europe, Israel and Palestine. She was awarded an Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2009.