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Until sometime in 1982, a Malaysian woman living in exile in London with her Singaporean husband was all but oblivious to the Palestinian plight.
Penang-born Dr Ang Swee Chai, like many non-Muslims, could not relate to the suffering of the Palestinians owing to the highly charged religious sentiments of their supporters. She grew up supporting Israel.
“My church celebrated when Israel won the Six Day War,” Ang told FMT, referring to the 1967 war that Israel won against Arab forces.
The petite orthopaedic surgeon was in Kuala Lumpur to attend the launching of a new edition of her memoir of the events of September 1982 in Lebanon.
From Beirut to Jerusalem is her eyewitness account as a young volunteer during the Sabra and Shatilla massacre in Lebanon. The killings, blamed on a pro-Israeli Lebanese Christian army, was condemned as an act of genocide by the United Nations General Assembly in December that year.