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Rejecting the idea that silence is the most eloquent tribute to atrocity, Palestinian writing often speaks powerfully and eloquently to events of the day. Discover an afternoon of work which stings with the scope and magnitude of the current loss – yet is full of determination for survival, anger that such a crime could be committed in plain sight and love for what is lost, what remains and the inevitable future.

Curated by Nora Parr with panellists Bayan Haddad and Basma Ghalayini.

Nora Parr is a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham and the Center for Lebanese Studies. She works on Palestinian, Arabic, and Postcolonial literature. She leads the Palestine Case Study with the Rights for Time research network, and with her project partner the Palestine Trauma Center in Gaza, is working to offer expanded definitions of trauma that can speak better to ongoing experiences of harm. Her first book Novel Palestine: Nation through the works of Ibrahim Nasrallah came out last moth from the University of California Press. Her readings will draw from this work.

Bayan Haddad is an instructor of English Literature at Birzeit University, Palestine. Bayan was a HESPAL scholar to the UK, and holds an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Edinburgh. Bayan’s current research suggests a postcolonial comparative literary reading of Northern Ireland and Palestine. The project examines pieces of fiction written after the temporal transitions of the Belfast Agreement and the Oslo Accords and seeks to interrogate the ways in which the texts reconsider the relationship of memory, language and structures to communicate collective trauma in each site.

Basma Ghalayini is an Arabic translator and interpreter and has previously translated short fiction for the KFW Stifflung series, Beirut Short Stories, published on, as well as for Comma Press projects, such as Banthology, The Book of Cairo and The Book of Ramallah. She is series editor on all Comma Press’s Arabic titles, and in 2021 was co-editor, with Rasha Abdulhadi, of Strange Horizon’s Special Palestinian Edition. She has written for the New York Times and was born and grew up in the Gaza strip.

Produced by Arts Canteen in association with Rich Mix. Supported by Arts Council England, Bagri Foundation and Cockayne foundation.


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