Ghada Karmi is a leading activist for Palestinian rights and the author of a widely acclaimed personal memoir, ‘In search of Fatima – A Palestinian Story’. Ghada was born in Jerusalem and left Palestine for England in 1949 at the age of seven. She trained in medicine at Bristol University and practiced as a doctor for many years. She later acquired a doctorate in the history of Arabic medicine from London University. From the early 1980s until 1995, Dr Karmi worked as a specialist in the held of migrants and refugees, and held a number of research appointments on Middle Eastern politics and culture at the School of Oriental & African Studies, Durham University and Leeds University. She is former president of the Palestinian Community Association in Britain and a vice-chair of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU). From 1999 to 2001 she was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. She is Research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.
‘In Search of Fatima’ provides a chilling recollection of a morning in July 1946 when Jewish Irgun terrorists in Jerusalem blew up the King David Hotel , headquarters of the British administration in Palestine: “Suddenly we heard a dull thud in the distance and minutes later our mother, who had been out visiting, came running home?.Shortly afterwards, the radio announced that bombs had exploded in the King David Hotel and many people were killed?by the end of that day, the full story became clear. Jewish terrorists had blown up a whole wing of the hotel posing as Arab delivery men and smuggling explosives in milk cans into the basement?..they said it took four days to dig out and move the bodies of the dead and wounded to the Government hospital”.
Ghada Karmi married an English doctor, John Thorley, in 1964. The marriage failed when during the 1967 war between Israel and the Arabs, she found out that her husband was “not on my side”.
Her publications include Jerusalem Today: What Future for the Peace Process? and, as co-editor with E. Cotran, The Palestinian Exodus, 1948-1998.