The stages in the life journey of Riad Kamel Kabha lead the reader through the path of a young Arab Palestinian, who was born in the State of Israel, in the divided village of Barta’a, in the heart of Wadi Ara. Riad became a prominent community activist, an educational leader and a prominent public figure. Kabha was a Civics teacher, Village Mukhtar, and later, Village Council Head. Over the course of more than four decades, Kabha continues to work at the “Jewish-Arab Center for Peace” in Givat Haviva and dedicates his life to advancing understanding and reconciliation between the peoples. Through the story of his life, we are introduced to the events and happenings in the extended Kabha family — that includes 40,000 people. At the same time, readers encounter the unique story of the Barta’a village, which serves as a real-imaginary border between Israel and Jordan placed in its center in 1949 and erased, as if possible, in 1967. Today, the village remains split between Israel and the Palestinian authority.
The Wadi Has Two Banks is, to a large extent, the story of an entire generation of Palestinian-Israelis, who were born after the Nakba, into the State of Israel and matured in the shadow of the military government and the Arab-Israeli conflict, with all its complexity and its pain. These are people who live with two distinct identities— one being the national Palestinian and the other Israeli citizenship, and deal daily with the enormous contradictions that that invites. This narrative is also the story of the civil organizations working to build relationships of trust and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians, despite the conflict, with their successes and their failures.
“I believe that this country is our shared homeland and we are responsible to find a way to live in it together, in true partnership and full equality”Kabha summarizes his book and presents his vision for a future of peace and equality between two states for two peoples.