Seventeen International Authors to Visit Palestine - The Palestine Festival of Literature, 7-11 May 2008

The Power of Culture vs The Culture of Power

LONDON, May 6 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Seventeen International Authors to Visit Palestine: Mourid Barghouti, Victoria Brittain, William Dalrymple, Roddy Doyle, Esther Freud, Suheir Hammad, Nathalie Handal, David Hare, Ian Jack, Brigid Keenan, Jamal Mahjoub, Claire Messud, Pankaj Mishra, Andrew O’Hagan, Hanan al-Shaykh, Raja Shehada, Ahdaf Soueif.

In solidarity with the Palestinian people

In recognition of Palestine’s cultural contribution to the world

In affirmation of the power of the word

And the responsibility of speaking it

INSPIRED by the call of the late great Palestinian thinker, Edward Said, to "reaffirm the power of culture over the culture of power."

RECOGNISING the difficulties Palestinians face under military occupation in travelling around their own country, the Festival will travel to its audiences in the West Bank. It will tour from Jerusalem, to Ramallah, to Jenin, to Bethlehem. Sadly, it cannot, this year, travel to Gaza.

PATRONS: Chinua Achebe, John Berger, Mahmoud Darwish, Seamus Heaney and Harold Pinter.

PARTNERS: the British Council, the A.M. Qattan Foundation, Bethlehem University, Birzeit University, the Bookshop at the American Colony Hotel, Dar an-Nadwa in Bethlehem and Yabous Productions. Also supported by The Sigrid Rausing Charitable Fund, the Ford Foundation, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, and UNESCO.

OPENS: 7 May: Dar al-Tifel al-Arabi Museum, Jerusalem with readings by best-selling travel writer William Dalrymple, British/Lebanese writer Hanan al-Shaykh, Scottish writer Andrew O’Hagan and others.

RAMALLAH 8 May: Ramallah’s own Mourid Barghouti, Palestinian/American poet Suheir Hammad and British/Egyptian novelist, Ahdaf Soueif at al-Kasaba Theatre.

JENIN 9 May: Sir David Hare discusses political theatre.

BETHLEHEM 9 May: Roddy Doyle, Jamal Mahjoub and Nathalie Handal with students at Bethlehem University. Esther Freud, Pankaj Mishra and others will later read at Bethlehem’s Dar Annadwa.

CLOSES: 11 May in Jerusalem with the ‘Yasmeen’ group from the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music; readings by each of the Festival authors and messages from our patrons.


- For full programme details of the Palestine Festival of Literature please visit (from 7 May) or email

- Strong outreach and education components.

The Palestine Festival of Literature is a project of UK charity, ENGAGED


Source: The Palestine Festival of Literature
Keywords: Entertainment