The Road Not Taken: Isḥāq Mūsā al-Ḥusseini and His Chickens

Hanita Brand

in The Divergence of Judaism and Islam

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037516
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042107 | DOI:
The Road Not Taken: Isḥāq Mūsā al-Ḥusseini and His Chickens

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This is an account of a novel written by Ishaq Musa al-Husseini, a Palestinian intellectual and a relative of the former mufti of Jerusalem, hajj Amon al-Husseini. Published in 1943, Musa's Memoirs of a Hen is a story of a hen and her chicken coop. The hen relates how one day a family of outcast chickens invades her domain and causes friction. All efforts by the hen to settle the tensions prove difficult. The chapter argues that this plot resembles the conflict in Palestine. Interpreting the motives behind the story, it raises two central questions: Does the novel specifically allegorize the Zionist–Palestinian conflict that gained notoriety at the time? Or does it reach beyond this “narrow” issue in a quest for universal peace and a world devoid of hatred at the height of World War II?

Keywords: memoirs; Palestine; Musa al-Husseini; Husseini Family; Jewish–Palestinian conflict; outcasts

Chapter.  6827 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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