Ghada Karmi

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Ghada Karmi
غادة كرمي
Dr. Ghada Karmi2.JPG
Dr. Ghada Karmi in a lecture in the University of Manchester during the Anti-Apartheid week 2008
Ghada Hasan Sa'id Karmi
غادة حسن سعيد كرمي


Ghada Karmi (Arabic: غادة كرمي‎, Ghādah Karmi; born 1939) is a Palestinian doctor of medicine, author and academic. She writes frequently on Palestinian issues in newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, The Nation and Journal of Palestine Studies. She is a fellow and lecturer at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at University of Exeter.

Early life[edit]

Dr. Ghada Karmi

Karmi was born in Jerusalem to a Muslim family. Her father, Hasan Sa'id Karmi was Palestinian while her mother was Syrian. In her 2002 autobiography, In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story, she describes growing up in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Katamon, with its mixture of Palestinian Christians and Muslims. Among the family friends and neighbors was Khalil al-Sakakini and his family. Her family fled Jerusalem in 1948, and their family villa was seized by Israel. In 1983 the New York Times bought it and installed its correspondents on a second story structure built onto the Karmi villa. The Karmi family received no compensation for the confiscation.[1] The family eventually settled in the predominantly Jewish neighbourhood of Golders Green, in London, England, where her father, Hasan, worked for the BBC Arabic service.

She studied and became a doctor of medicine, graduating from the University of Bristol in 1964. Initially Karmi practised as a physician, specialising in the health and social conditions of ethnic minorities, migrants and asylum seekers.[2] Since 1972 she has been politically active for the Palestinian cause and gained a doctorate in the history of Arabic medicine from London University.[3]

In 1998, she visited her childhood home in Katamon for the first time since 1948.

She is an associate fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, and a visiting professor at London Metropolitan University. She is also vice-chair of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU)[4]

She delivered the Edward Said Memorial lecture at the University of Adelaide, Australia in October, 2007

Academic work[edit]

In 2012 Karmi was criticized by Shai Afsai as an example of authors who treat the story "The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man" as historical fact, which Karmi had done in her book Married to Another Man and in her other academic and popular writings, although the story lacks a primary source. Other examples of authors given included Avi Shlaim and Anthony Pagden.[5]

Statements on Israel[edit]

In an interview with Executive Intelligence Review (reprinted in Middle East Policy Journal), Karmi stated that:

"There is actually nothing — repeat, nothing — positive about the existence of Israel, as far as the Arabs are concerned. You know, sometimes there are events, historical events, that happen against people's will. But, in time, they can find some positive aspect to something they didn't want to happen in the first place. This is not the case with Israel. On the contrary, as time has gone on, the existence of Israel has only increased the problems for the Arab region. It has increased the danger in the Arab world and is a threat not only to the security of the region, but the security of the whole world."

She also stated that:

"...Israel, from its inception in 1948, has been given the most wonderful opportunity to behave itself, and it clearly has not done so. It's flouted every single law, it's behaved outrageously, it's made a travesty of international and humanitarian law. On what basis should this state continue to be a member of the United Nations?"[6]

At the Palestinian Return Conference held in January 2011, Karmi referred to the creation of Israel as involving the dispossession and theft of a whole country and that "The only way to reverse that is on the basis of rights and justice; that is the right of return of the refugees and the dispossessed and the exiles back to their homeland." She was then quoted as stating:

"If that were to happen we know very well that that would be the end of a Jewish state in our region".[7]

At a protest as part of the Global March to Jerusalem held in front of the Israeli Embassy in London on March 30, 2012, Karmi stated “Israel is finished” and that “Today, we are here together because we know, we understand what Israel is doing to Jerusalem,” further stating that Jerusalem “does not belong to Jewish Israelis or to Jews. We respect all religions but we do not allow one group to take over this wonderful city.” Karmi also said that Israel does not deserve to continue as a state and that “We have no alternative but to act. The only way we can stop Israel is to act against it, against its interests, against its apartheid and policies.”[8][9]

Bibliography, books (partial)[edit]

  • Al-Hassan, Ahmad Y.; Ghada Karmi & Nizar Namnum (eds.) Proceedings of the First International Symposium for the History of Arabic Science 5–12 April 1976. Volume II. Papers in European Languages. Aleppo: University of Aleppo, Institute for the History of Arabic Science, 1978.
  • Karmi, Ghada: Multicultural Health Care: Current Practice and Future Policy in Medical Education ISBN 0-7279-0940-1 British Medical Association, London, 1995,
  • Karmi, Ghada (Ed.) with a contribution by Edward Said: Jerusalem Today: What Future for the Peace Process? ISBN 0-86372-226-1 Ithaca Press, 1996
  • Karmi, Ghada: The Palestinian Exodus 1948-1998. Ithaca Press 1999
  • Karmi, Ghada: In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story ISBN 1-85984-694-7 Verso 2002
  • Karmi, Ghada: Married to another man: Israel's dilemma in Palestine, Pluto press, 2007, ISBN 0-7453-2065-1

Bibliography, articles by Ghada Karmi (partial list)[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Philip Weiss, 'Ghada Karmi visits the ‘New York Times’ reporter in her former house in Jerusalem,' Mondoweiss 1 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Edward Said Memorial Lecture". Archived from the original on 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  3. ^ "open democracy".
  4. ^ "RSA - Karmi, Ghada". Archived from the original on 2008-07-29.
  5. ^ Shai Afsai, "'The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man': Historical Fabrication and an Anti-Zionist Myth", Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Spring 2012), pp. 35-61; Shai Afsai, "'The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man.' The tenacity of an anti-Zionist fable", Fathom Journal, December 2020.
  6. ^ Interview: Ghada Karmi, a voice from exile, Executive Intelligence Review, (reprinted by Middle East Policy, Spring 2010).(available online here). Also available here: Interview: Ghada Karmi, a voice from exile at Goliath.
  7. ^ Ghada Karmi calls for “the end of a Jewish state in our region” by Richard Millett, The Jewish Chronicle, January 16, 2011.
  8. ^ British lecturer: Jerusalem doesn’t belong to Jews by Jonny Paul, Jerusalem Post, April 1, 2012.
  9. ^ Land Day In London, Alondon, April 4, 2012.