Palestine is in the news again.
What turmoil will Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel unleash for the Palestinians living in Israel, the occupied territories and around the world?
The most recent events and our anxieties about the future will certainly be on our mind as we welcome award winning Palestinian poet and writer, Mourid Barghouti, to SOAS and Birkbeck on Monday, 11 December 2017, where he will lead one of the Chase funded Arabic Poetry and Story Translations Workshops (Keynes Library, Birkbeck, 2:30 to 5:30pm) and give readings from his poetry and memoirs (Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, 7:00-8:30pm).
Born near Ramallah in 1944, Mourid Barghouti has lived most of his life in exile, having to move from one country to another at the whims of his host countries. The inconveniences of exile have not put a damper on his spirits or writings. He has written sensitively about long separations from family and homeland, the tumults of international politics, and what it means to be a Palestinian.
His writings are no mere chronicles of Palestinian exile, however. They are meditations on life and the craft of writing. His understated style speaks eloquently of the persistent presence of Palestine, as both homeland and memory, in the fabric of any Palestinian life. Even simple objects and day-to-day routines are sites of remembrance and commemoration. Poetry and memoirs are his expressions of passionate commitment to family and homeland. What will he say on Monday, I wonder?