Some of the biggest names in the world of literature – Dickens, Hemingway, Garcia Marquez – got their start in journalism. Their reporting tends to be forgotten; their prose is what lives on.
Ghassan Kanafani is a name you can add to that list. Kanafani was a Palestinian writer who, through books like Men in the Sun, humanised the Palestinian condition of dispossession and displacement. He was, however, first and foremost a journalist.
He was also a product of 1960s Beirut – a period when the city was a magnet for young reporters, revolutionaries, migrants and misfits, as well as host to the Palestinian leadership in exile. It was in Beirut that Kanafani produced Al Hadaf, a forward-thinking Palestinian magazine, that has been somewhat lost in the mists of time.
The Listening Post‘s Tariq Nafi reports from Beirut, Lebanon, on the legacy of Ghassan Kanafani and the era of Palestinian revolutionary media.
Refqa Abu-Remaileh – Professor of modern Arabic literature and film, Director of “PalREAD – Country of Words” project, Free University of Berlin
Elias Khoury – Novelist and playwright
As’ad AbuKhalil – Professor of political science, California State University