Book cover of We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir by Raja Shehadehby Raja Shehadeh


A subtle psychological portrait of the author’s relationship with his father during the twentieth-century battle for Palestinian human rights.

Aziz Shehadeh was many things: lawyer, activist, and political detainee, he was also the father of bestselling author and activist Raja. In this new and searingly personal memoir, Raja Shehadeh unpicks the snags and complexities of their relationship.

A vocal and fearless opponent, Aziz resists under the British mandatory period, then under Jordan, and, finally, under Israel. As a young man, Raja fails to recognize his father’s courage and, in turn, his father does not appreciate Raja’s own efforts in campaigning for Palestinian human rights. When Aziz is murdered in 1985, it changes Raja irrevocably.

This is not only the story of the battle against the various oppressors of the Palestinians, but a moving portrait of a particular father and son relationship.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for the London Review of Books PodcastThe LRB Podcast 
Fathers and Sons in Palestine
11/8/22          46 min

Podcast art for Seattle Town Hall Civics SeriesTown Hall Seattle Civics
325. Raja Shehadeh: A Portrait of a Palestinian Father and Son
6/15/23           53 min