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Ibtisam Barakat

Poet, educator, peace activist; voice for Palestinian diaspora and youth.

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Date of Birth:



Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Ibtisam Barakat is included for her significant literary contributions that provide a poignant view of Palestinian experiences, her activism for peace and education, and her role as a cultural bridge between her Palestinian heritage and her American context.

Brief bio

Ibtisam Barakat is a Palestinian-American author, poet, translator, and educator. She is recognized for her bilingual literary work which encompasses themes of healing from the trauma of war, peacemaking, and the Palestinian experience. As a voice for the Palestinian diaspora, her work resonates with themes of displacement and resilience.

Major Milestones


  • Fled home during the Six-Day War at the age of three.

  • Immigrated to the United States on June 9, 1986.

  • Received a BA in English literature from Birzeit University.

  • Earned dual master’s degrees in journalism and human development and family studies from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

  • Published her memoir "Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood" in 2007, receiving critical acclaim and awards.

  • Her memoirs provide a narrative of Palestinian childhood and coming of age under occupation...See More

  • Received the International Reading Association’s Best Nonfiction Book Award for Children and Young Adults in 2008...See More

  • Her stories and poems have been widely anthologized, contributing to the understanding of Palestinian experiences...See More

  • Founded the Write Your Life seminars to empower others through writing...See More

  • Served as an educator at Stephens College, fostering a new generation's understanding of Middle Eastern culture and literature...See More

Date of Last Update: 
December 14, 2023

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