Raja Shehadeh studied law in London. His grandfather, Saleem, was a judge in the courts of the British Mandate of Palestine. His great-great-uncle, the journalist Najib Nassar, founded the Haifa-based newspaper Al-Karmil in the last years of the Ottoman Empire, before World War I. His father, Aziz, also a lawyer, was one of the first Palestinians to publicly support a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Shehadeh is from a Palestinian Christian family.
Legal and literary career
Shehadeh is a founder of the human rights organization, Al-Haq, an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists. He has written several books on international law, human rights and the Middle East. Strangers in the House was described by The Economist as "distinctive and truly impressive", In 2008, he won the Orwell Prize, Britain's pre-eminent award for political writing, for his book Palestinian Walks.
Shehadeh's published works include:
- Strangers in the House (2002)
- When the Bulbul Stopped Singing (2003)
- Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape (2007, 2nd edition published as Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape, 2008)
- A Rift In Time: Travels With My Ottoman Uncle (2010)
- Occupation Diaries (2012)
- Aguirre, Abby (12 August 2008). "Roaming freely in a land of restraints". New York Times. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
- Buchan, James (3 May 2003). "Shattered lives". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Grey is hard to find". The Economist 362 (8256): 72. 19 January 2002.
- Stephen Brook (25 April 2008). "Hari and James take Orwell prizes". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 25 April 2008.