One Land Many Voices on 06/28/13
Co-hosts Zaha Hassan and Ned Rosch feature interviews with two remarkable activist women writers about their work and their participation in an extraordinary literary festival in Palestine, the role of writers in the struggle for justice and the significance of a world-class literary festival for a people under occupation.
Susan Abulhawa is the daughter of Palestinian refugees. She grew up in Kuwait, Jordan, East Jerusalem, and the U.S. After a career in medical science, she turned to journalism and fiction and has been published in major US and international newspapers and periodicals. Her first novel, Mornings in Jenin, is the epic story of dispossession of the Palestinian people. Abulhawa is the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine, an NGO that advocates for Palestinian children by building playgrounds in Palestine and in refugee camps in Lebanon.
Ahdaf Soueif was born in Cairo and educated in Egypt and England. Her novel, The Map of Love was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, has been translated into 21 languages and sold over a million copies. Soueif is a cultural and political commentator for the Guardian newspaper and has reported on the Egyptian revolution.
In addition, Soueif writes about Palestinians in her fiction and non-fiction, and in 2008 she initiated the Palestine Festival of Literature. PalFest is not an ordinary literary festival; this festival contends with Israeli checkpoints, soldiers, and shutdowns.
Recently well-known writers from across the world traveled to Palestine to take part in the sixth annual PalFest, a nine-day literary event across five cities in the West Bank, within the Green Line and in Gaza.
Photo above is Susan Abulhawa. Photo below is Ahdaf Soueif arriving in Gaza with PalFest April 2012