Olfat Mahmoud was born in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Olfat started her career as a nurse, then became a nurse educator, later joining the Faculty of Human Sciences at Beirut Arab University, earning a PhD in Psychology. She is currently an instructor at the university and the General Director of the Palestinian NGO 'Women's Humanitarian Organisation'. She also works tirelessly at both a local and international level as an activist for Palestinian and women's rights. Helen McCue is best known as a co-founder of Rural Australians for Refugees (2001). A trained nurse educator she worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the Middle East in 1981, was then seconded to the United Nations Relief and Works Organisation (UNRWA) in Lebanon, and subsequently worked as a volunteer in refugee camps in Beirut 1982-83. In 1984 she co-founded the trade union aid body Australian People for Health Education and Development Abroad (APHEDA), and was its first Executive Director and regional adviser in South Africa and the Middle East until early 1994. She founded the Women Refugee Education Network (1996) and the Wingecarribee Community Foundation (2001), and was involved in the establishment of Wingecarribee Reconciliation Group (1997). Dani Cooper has worked as a senior journalist on national newspapers in the UK, Ireland and Australia, including as Foreign News Editor at The Australian. For the past decade she has worked as a freelance science journalist, editor and writer. She has previously written Livelihoods and Liberation Struggles - the history of the ACTU's aid agency, APHEDA-Union Aid Abroad.
"Olfat Mahmoud has long been a passionate, compassionate and
articulate voice for Palestinian refugees. Her account of the agony
of dispossession and exile - not least the horror of the murderous
assaults on the Sabra Shatila and Borj el-Barajneh camps in Lebanon
in the 1980s which she so bravely lived through - is both
scarifying and deeply moving. No one of any humanity could fail to
be touched by this book."
- Gareth Evans, former Australian Foreign Minister "For too long, Palestinians have remained largely invisible in our media and demonised as terrorists. It's therefore wonderfully refreshing to read the history, reflections and passions of Olfat Mahmoud and understand what exile still means for millions of Palestinians around the world, refused access to their former homeland. I commend this book for its humanity and quest for justice. The Middle East will not see peace until these issues are resolved."
- Antony Loewenstein, independent journalist, film-maker, author of Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe and My Israel Question