Saturday, July 8

Ghassan Kanefani would have been 70 years old today

Had it not been for a car bomb, which exploded in 1972, killing both Ghassan Kanefani and a young niece, Lamis, Palestinian author Ghassan Kanefani would have been 70 years old today.
Instead, he died at the age of 36.

Instead of writing much, and forcing you, one of my 2-3 readers of having to do with my poor prose, go out and get yourself a copy of "Men in the Sun". He says it all, much better.
Or try "Land of Sad Oranges", which has been translated into English and focuses on Palestinian refugees from Jaffa.
Ghasssan Kanefani was born and educated in Jaffa. He attended St. Joseph, a Jesuit run, French spoken school, still educating Jaffa's elite.
As a young boy he experienced the naqba when he and his family were forced to flee from Jaffa to the north. On their way they bought sweet large Jaffa oranges, a last tangible memorial from their beloved city, the "Bride of the Sea", or, in Kanefani's words, "The Land of Sad Oranges".


Anonymous said...

Looked it up...Ghassan Kanafani was appointed official spokesman of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1970. .those were the terrosrists who attacked Israeli schools in Ma'alot, Kiryat Shmona in 1970's

Yudit...find your posts about Jaffa very enjoyable,informative and interesting

Sari Nusseibeh is a peacenik who one can respect,but one cannot give respect to the enemy and certainly not to terrs or their symphatizers like Ghassan Kanafani in Beirut who gave comfort to PFLP who killed Israelis in 1970's and were the killers of Gandhi 5 yrs ago

Anonymous said...

Ghassan Kanefani was also a great author, who managed to express the pain of the Palestinian refugees in a poignant way. One should, in mho, try to differentiate between artists and their political views. I try to judge their work as their work, without being influenced by their ideology. Sometimes it indeed is very difficult. I invite you to read "Men in the Sun", give it a try, simply because it is a good book.
People change; according to some, Begin and Shamir were terrorists, and as to Gandhi, (and i really don't share his views), he wrote a good book about Jaffa.

ee said...

It's not that simple.
For example, Shmuelik Kraus was nominated for the Arad festival music award and he did make great music but it's hard not to think of him beating up on poor Josie Katz.
After all, musicians are role models for young people - or not.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the connection.
Shmulik Kraus may well be a complete bastard for which there is a criminal justice system which can indict him and - if found guilty- send him to jail.
Yet at the same time, should that cancel his music?
Perhaps his music is profound, important as a creation for all of humanity.
Perhaps he has something to say. Should we be deprived of that, because the guy was a criminal?

the idea is: read the Kanefani's book. You may or may not like it, agree or disagree with its message.

Generaly speaking very little Palestinian literature has been translated to Hebrew and English.

The little there is, from Mahmoud Darwish, through Israel prize winner Emile Habibi, Anton Shams, Fadwa Toukan, Sahar Khalife
and Kanefani: give them a chance. Read their works.

Yudit Ilany said...

And in case you wonder why a blog about Jaffa mentions Kanefani: Ghasan Kanefani was born (1936) and raised in Jaffa. He was educated at "St. Joseph", the Jesuit school, which still functions and spent his early years in Ajami, nutil 1948, when his family was forced out of Jaffa, leaving behind "the land of the sad oranges"

ee said...

Well, anonymous, there is SOME connection when a musician is given an award at a music festival where most are teens.
I hardly think that Kraus's music is "profound, important as a creation for all of humanity", although I do think some of it's pretty good and pleasing on the ear.
The point is, there are plenty of other musicians who could be selected.
This subject (Kanefani) is different in that you can read the book and form your opinion as an individual, not as a representative of an institution.
Regarding the criminal justice system, and mostly law enforcement, especially at that time...well, I don't even have the KOACH to comment.

Qudsi said...

I would like translate Palestenian writer Ghassan Kanfani's novelle, Men in the Sun.
Could any body help me find the copyright holder of the novel?
I need their reachable address.

yudit said...

You might want to contact Salma Jayyousi's team perhaps: