Invited Presenters among other:Samih al Qasim, poet and writer, Israeli Arab, author of 50 books, translated into most living languages. Samih al Qasim received the Naguib Mahfouz prize for the literature in Egypt.
In 1967, on the first day of the Six-Day War, Samih alQasim, member of the Israeli Communist Party, was arrested by Israeli forces and sent to Haifa's Al Damoun prison. The experience shook al Qasim to the core. "In prison I discovered - when the Israeli were declaring, 'Sharm el Sheik is in our hands, Jerusalem is in our hands' - that I had to make one of two choices, either to find a cave in the mountains, isolated from mankind, or to find a higher stage in the struggle. I lost my belief in nationalistic words"
Samih al Qasim was born in 1939 in Zarqa, a city in the British Mandate of Palestine. Members of the Druse sect, the al Qasim clan had lived for centuries in Rama, a village in the north of Palestine to which the infant Samih and his family retured at the ourbreak of WW II.
Rama was occupied by Israeli soldiers during the Arab-Israeli war. The al-Quaim clan remained in the village but lived under the Emergency Regulations, which restricted the movement of Palestinian citizens within the new Jewish state until 1966. Despite those regulations, al Qasim and Mahmud Darwish, who's become close friends, travelled around the country during the late 1950s and read their work at poetry festivals in rural Arab villages.
Contributionworkshop 1 1/2 hour
"Lorca Protected His Smile - I Protected My Tears"... poets, writers, scientists and all human beings must protect their humanity.
a poetic workshop