Deep Trouble #5: Dr Olfat Mahmoud
In this episode we are in conversation with internationally recognised Palestinian activist Dr Olfat Mahmoud, a Palestinian refugee, born in a refugee camp in Lebanon 58 years ago, whose life mission is to fulfil the dream of her family to return to their hometown, Tarshiha in Palestine, as outlined in her chronicle ‘Tears for Tarshiha’ (Wild Dingo Press). Dr Mahmoud recounts the war of 1948, known to Palestinians as Al-Nakba (the catastrophe), which resulted in her grandparents fleeing at gunpoint into the refugee camps. We talk about the psychology of exile and how her book charts the stories of three generations of women in her family; a story of great love, as well as grief and loss. We discuss her horrifying experiences during the massacres in Sabra and Shatila camps in the 1980s, where she worked as a nurse. Finally we talk about hopes for Palestinian refugee’s right to return, with Dr Mahmoud stating she feels hope is still there but that these hopes are ‘frozen’.