Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Christ Church Cathedral414 Sparks St.
6:00pm

The Words of My Father

with Yousef Bashir
Hosted by Rhonda Douglas

The Words of My Father

with Yousef Bashir
Hosted by Rhonda Douglas
3
Friday
May
6:00pm
Christ Church Cathedral
414 Sparks St.
Yousef Bashir - Photo by Bill O'Leary / TheWashingtonPost / Getty

The Words of My Father is a story of coexistence, survival and the unpredictable impacts and consequences of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

 

Growing up in Gaza, Yousef is a teenager like any other. Israel, and all that it means to so many of his fellow Palestinians, is a distant concern. Everything changes shortly after his 15th birthday when he is shot by an Israeli soldier while standing with his father in their garden. 

 

Taken to hospital in Tel Aviv, he slowly and painstakingly overcomes the paralysis of his lower body. During the long months of convalescence, Yousef confronts his anger but also marvels at the ceaseless efforts of the Israeli doctors, nurses and physical therapists who have given him back his life. 

 

His father, Khalil Bashir, was always deeply committed to peaceful coexistence with the Israelis. When the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) occupied his home in 2005, he described them to the world’s media as “cousins” and insisted on welcoming the occupying soldiers as “guests.” When Yousef was shot, both father and son became the centre of a major media storm. 

 

Thirteen years later, Yousef Bashir, now living in the US, has written The Words of My Father , a memoir that describes the experience of growing up in Gaza amid the region’s complex maelstrom, and his father—about whose nonviolent philosophy Yousef was once so skeptical but whose message of peace now strongly resonates with him.

 

Books available for purchase at every event: Proceeds support our free children’s literacy programs. 

See Also

Included in Optional Friday May 03 Evening Pass

6:00pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
7:30pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
9:00pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
Join Wait List

The Words of My Father

Notify me if new tickets come available for this event

Number of tickets:
RSVP

The Words of My Father

RSVP to help us ensure there are enough seats at this event