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By: Amnon Levy

Gardens of Deprivation

Pages: 512 Ratings:
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The first four decades of my life were spent in a small country that was nested in a hostile and unstable old region, Israel. I strongly felt, enjoyed, and participated in, the revival of that country and experienced the uneasy reintegration of the returning descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob from the four corners of the world. I have felt the pain of the less happy residents of that reviving country. In particular, I have felt the hardship of the Mizrachi Israelis – the Jewish returnees and refugees from Arab countries.

I have wished to live in a world that is not divided by religion, ethnicity and skin colour. As there is no such world, I embraced the second best – the remote, sparsely populated southern continent that has provided a home to convicts and refugees from the old world. I arrived in that continent, Australia, at almost forty years of age with an already developed strong sensitivity to ethnic-based social injustices.

My tales from my land of origin and from my land of choice record interwoven personal and national memoirs of ethnically based inequalities and injustices. I wrote those tales with a hope that they will make a contribution to the moderation of the intensity of such social problems. The colour of my tales is brown – the typical colour of the skin of the Mizrachi Israelis and the colour of many members of the minority ethnic groups that live in Australia.

Amnon Levy is a PhD holder from the University of California at Berkeley and a University of Wollongong Professor of Economics. In addition to efficiency and sustainability, he has focused on fairness in the allocations of opportunities and on investments in human capital, health, and communication as instruments for social mobility, integration, wellbeing and peace. He spent the first forty years of his life in the disputed, violently contested, ethnically fragmented and environmentally degraded “Holy Land” and served as a tenured Senior Lecturer in Economics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 1990, he moved to live in “The Dreamland” of the Aboriginal peoples, “The Lucky Country Down Under” of the white convicts and fresh-start seekers and “The Hard Yakka Land” of the yellow, brown and black refugees and skilled-labour immigrants.

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