QALANDIA checkpoint, West Bank 2010

Palestine’s Reading Light

Jillian Edelstein

Palestine. May 2010

The Palestinian Festival of Literature, Palfest, is held every year. Through it, artists and writers go to the West Bank to highlight issues related to the occupied territories and daily life there. Established in 2008, the event has drawn influential literary figures from around the world, among them Chinua Achebe, John Berger, Mahmoud Darwish, Seamus Heaney, and Harold Pinter.

Held throughout cities on the West Bank, the event is designed not only to bring authors closer to their readers, but to give meaning to the late Edward Said’s encouragement to exert “the power of culture over the culture of power.”

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