I wanted to share excerpts from this document I came across, as I’ve been researching historical literature and poetry from my Palestinian heritage. Not exactly easy for me to find, as a lot has been destroyed, or lost over the years to the occupation.
Here is an excerpt, and also a piece from poet, Fadwa Tuqan:
Translated from: Resistance literature In Occupied Palestine
By Ghassan Kanafani
The fall of Palestine to the Zionists in 1948 led to a disastrous change both in the number and
the social structure of the Arab population in occupied Palestine. Nearly three quarters of the 200,000
Arabs who continued to live in their homeland were peasants. The cities were mostly evacuated either
during the war or soon afterwards. This led to a shocking deterioration in Arab social conditions due
to the fact that the cities had been the centers of both political and cultural effusion.
As the Zionist occupants closed their military ring, they started to impose their oppressive
measures; the atmosphere was convenient for them. Their chief purpose was to eradicate every trace
of the Arab personality and to implant the seeds of new trends which might grow and integrate within
the Zionist political and literary life.
Palestinian Literature, up to this tragic fall had been part of the mainstream of the Arab literary
movement which flourished during the first half of the century. It had got its sources from and had
been influenced by Egyptian, Syrian and Lebanese writers who led the literary movement then. Even
renowned Palestinian writers had been indebted for their fame mostly to the Arab capitals which used
to receive them and patronize their productions. Several factors had in fact contributed to diminishing
the value of Palestinian literature at a time when Palestine was enjoying a prominent position in the
political arena and the struggle for Arab nationalism.
After 1948, Palestinian literature succeeded in laying the foundations of a new literary movement
which may be better described as the literature of Exile rather than Palestinian or Refugee literature.
POETRY OF RESISTANCE IN OCCUPIED PALESTINE TRANSLATED BY SULAFA HIJJAWI Published by the Ministry of Culture Baghdad- Iraq 1968 (This is a revised and edited version- 2009) EVER ALIVE Fadwa Tuqan My beloved home land No matter how long the millstone Of pain and agony churns you In the wilderness of tyranny, They will never be able To pluck your eyes Or kill your hopes and dreams Or crucify your will to rise Or steel the smiles of our children Or destroy and burn, Because out from our deep sorrows, Out from the freshness of our spilled blood Out from the quiverings of life and death Life will be reborn in you again………