PalFest Gaza, 2012

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9:

The closing event will be at Dar al Basha. If you need a map, it’s here: http://tinyurl.com/crl8t5x

Rana B. Baker ‏ @RanaGaza tweets:

Good morning and another exciting day with #PalFestGaza. However, let’s NOT forget #Palhunger.

And from our friend @nariology:

Today is the last #PalfestGaza day in #Gaza (for this year!).. then there’s a finale event at Rawabet Theatre in #Cairo Friday eve.

Also, Selma Dabbagh’s report on the fest (part 1 of 2) is up on English PEN.

TUESDAY, MAY 8 plans:

Today in #PalFestGaza: workshop with school children, a visit to culture centers in refugee camps and a meeting with the BDS campaign.

MONDAY, MAY 7 image from PalFest organizers, of the (former) Andalus Tower:

Plans included:

 10am visit to #palhunger sit in | Tour of Gaza | 4pm Eskenderalla concert | 7pm Tweet-up. Join us. #palfestgaza

Also, Nariman Youssef (@nariology) had a good time with the girls:

Leading a creative writing workshop with 15to18-yr-old girls. Never led a writing wrkshp b4 & I generally steer away frm groups of 15to18!

She added later: “I’ll do more if u can find teenagers as kind as today’s gaza girls :)”

SUNDAY, MAY 6 evening tweets:

Fidaa Abu Assi ‏ @Fidz2 Dr. Ahdaf is reading from her book “Cairo, My City”. So moving!! #PalFestGaza

Rana B. Baker ‏ @RanaGaza The most touching moment was when Ahdaf Soueif’s eyes glistened with tears over Alaa Abdul Fattah’s talk. #PalFestGaza

Lana Shamma ‏ @itsLanaaa “We want books. We want more writers. We want Barghouti & Radwa Ashour in #Gaza. We’re thirsty for culture,” says a student. @PalFest@BQFP

In a SUNDAY, MAY 6 video, Tarik Hamdan recites a poem about the Gaza massacre under torch light during a power cut at Al Aqsa University:

SUNDAY morning tweets from the talk by Jamal Mahjoub, Selma Dabbagh, and Amr Ezzat:

Tweets from Amal Murtaja

Amal Murtaja ‏ @hopeingaza
@SelmaDabbagh @AmrEzzat and @JamalMahjoub has just arrived at IUG #PalFestGaza

Amal Murtaja ‏ @hopeingaza
this is exciting #PalFestGaza

Amal Murtaja ‏ @hopeingaza
i have studied all the laws that devided palestinians and i wanted sth to connect palestinians @SelmaDabbagh #PalFestGaza

Amal Murtaja ‏ @hopeingaza
everything is political, nothing is political write as u feel @JamalMahjoub #PalFestGaza

Tweets from Rana Baker 

Rana B. Baker ‏ @RanaGaza
@SelmaDabbagh used to keep a notebook in which she kept all gossip conversations. She says I hope nobody ever finds it.

Rana B. Baker ‏ @RanaGaza
@AmrEzzat “blogs escape all restrictions” #PalFestGaza

Rana B. Baker ‏ @RanaGaza
“writing has always been the best way to fight” #PalFestGaza

SUNDAY, MAY 6 morning update: Most guests — outside of Alaa Abd El Fattah, Manal Hassan, Mai Saad, and Islam — made it through to Gaza and were getting ready for presentations at Gaza universities set for 10 a.m.

SATURDAY, MAY 5: The bus to Gaza is rolling! The only Lit Fest I know with its own in-bus literary translator is now heading toward Egypt’s border.

Literary translator Nariman Youssef tweeted: وآدي قعدة.. On bus to #PalfestGaza

THURSDAY, MAY 3: Organizers for the Palestine Festival of Literature announced Thursday that they had finally been granted permission to travel to Gaza by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Later that evening, the fest’s new bilingual website went up.

The Gaza portion of the festival will run from May 5-9 and includes a series of free public events. And according to the PalFest blog, banners are now up in Gaza!

PalFest is also set to hold its closing event the evening of May 11 in Cairo at the Rawabet Space for Performing Arts. The PalFest team said, in a prepared release: “We believe in the fundamental unity between Egypt and Palestine and hope that these events will forge new connections between the people of Gaza and Cairo.”

Eighteen writers and a number of musicians are scheduled to take part in the Gaza portion of PalFest, including blogger Alaa Abd el-Fattah, novelists Ahdaf Soueif, Jamal Mahjoub, Youssef Rakha, Khaled Khamissi, Ghada Abd el-Aal, and Selma Dabbagh, memoirist Suad Amiry, poets Najwan Darwish and Nathalie Handal, and translator Nariman Youssef.

For updates, follow @PalFest on Twitter.

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  1. The Literary Scene in Palestine | Arabic Literature (in English)

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