Authors launch literary festival in cities of the West Bank

From The Guardian:

Ahdafsoueifmarcodilaurog372_2 Roddy Doyle, Esther Freud, David Hare and Ahdaf Soueif will this week launch the first international literary festival in the occupied Palestinian territories. Seventeen British, American, Indian and Arab authors will visit four West Bank cities for the inaugural Palestinian Festival of Literature, subtitled: “The power of culture and the culture of power.”

Soueif, one of the festival’s organisers, said they had invited “authors who we really liked, and who showed a concern for the world in general”. Others taking part include the Scottish writer Andrew O’Hagan and Pankaj Mishra, who is Indian, as well as the British-Sudanese writer Jamal Mahjoub, and the American-Palestinian poet Suheir Hammad. They will work with Palestinian writers at events in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Jenin and Bethlehem.  Soueif said that the lack of Israelis taking part was not deliberate, but added: “I’m resistant to this idea of always having to twin, that every time you talk about Palestine you have to invite an Israeli, or vice versa. They aren’t twinned.”

More here.