One of the travesties of living in a colonized environment is that the inferior, or oppressed, aspire to win admittance to the Western world. There seems to be an emerging trend of this type of appeasement, where submission has replaced the revolution. The introduction to spectacles, like the breaking of a Guinness record for the largest plate of kanafeh and the search for a national beauty queen, are just two examples of absurd practices are coming to be seen as normal in Palestinian cities. Sousan Hammad comments for The Electronic Intifada. Read more about Miss Palestine's mistaken rebellion
It has been an unnatural string of days here in Bethlehem. Gone is the usual quaintness. Palestinian police are working overtime and coffee shops are being lit up by men in suits with cigars in town for Fatah’s sixth general assembly. The secular Fatah movement was founded in the 1950s and has since been at the forefront of the Palestinian national movement. Sousan Hammad writes for The Electronic Intifada. Read more about Smoke, mirrors and acrimony: The 2009 Fatah congress
It was a portentous day in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. Over 100,000 Palestinians from Haifa, Jerusalem, Jenin and more gathered in the city on Saturday to celebrate the making of a Guinness World Record: the largest plate of kanafeh, a popular red-haired pastry made with lots of sugar and goat cheese. Was it a celebration of improving economic conditions or, as one resident put it, a “shameful display of opportunism?” Sousan Hammad reports from Nablus about the absurdity of the event. Read more about Celebrating absurdity in Nablus
Ali Jabri locked his paintings in a trunk. It had been more than 20 years since the artist had opened it, but after he was murdered in his Amman, Jordan apartment in December 2002 his friends decided it was time to tell Jabri’s tale. Six years in the making, Fadi Ghandour, a philanthropist and friend of Jabri’s, set up a foundation to document and preserve the late artist’s work. In a home Jabri had wished to one day own, the Ali Jabri Human Heritage Foundation was launched in Amman. Sousan Hammad reports for The Electronic Intifada. Read more about Ali Jabri retrospective: a life recorded in sketchbooks
For many Palestinians, the month of May is associated with the commemoration of the Nakba. But with the increasing popularity of the arts in Palestine, the second annual Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest) harmoniously unfolded to the final days of spring, a time also for lavender and lilies. The Electronic Intifada contributor Sousan Hammad reports on PalFest, and how it was shut down by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem. Read more about Despite Israel's efforts, Palestinian festival celebrates literature
Four comedians recently came together in Houston, Texas “to promote peace through comedy” under the banner of the Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour. However, rather than promoting a just end to the conflict, their material exploits it in a disturbing manner. “We rely on the conflict; peace would ruin our show,” co-founder Ray Hanania said in an interview with EI contributor Sousan Hammad. Read more about Nothing to laugh at here
In his book Memory for Forgetfulness, Mahmud Darwish, the eloquent Palestinian poet says, “I bring my search for meaning to a complete stop because the essence of war is to degrade symbols and bring human relations, space, time and the elements back to a state of nature, making us rejoice over water gushing on the road from a broken pipe”. This was written during the Israeli invasion of Beirut in 1982, a time that was very similar to the current situation in Palestine. Read more about Palestine's Defeat?