Is the Real Story of Palestine Being Told?

I’m sure anyone in the Middle East, outside of Israel, would answer this question with a resounding ‘no.’  While the question of Palestine sovereignty is one of the most pressing issues on the international stage, author and human rights activist Susan Abulhawa looks at it from a literary standpoint.  She and her family are refugees from the 1967 ‘Six Day War,’ and one might expect her to be filled with rage towards Israel.  But, as a writer, Abulhawa knows fully that literature, like art and music, can be used as a tool to create dialogues about even the most controversial of matters and build bridges between communities that have always built walls instead.  Her book Mornings in Jenin is a fictional telling of her family’s own experiences with forced relocation, but the story takes place in the aftermath of Israel’s 1948 independence.  Many people probably don’t want to talk about it, or worst, pretend there’s no real problem at all.  But, we’ve seen what happens when people stop talking and start fighting.  They end up with the problems that plague the Middle East.  I think we should stop listening to the region’s political leaders and start listening to its writers and other artists.  Often, their resolutions don’t involve blood and bombs.

 

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