Ghassan Kanafani: Born Here, Assassinated There

Barghouti tweeted out this photo of Kanafani. He wrote: “3 فناجين قهوة على مكتبك العظيم لك ولرضوى ولي خلفك كفاح الدنيا وأمامك الموت الذي لم نره يومهاا.لا شيء يعدل ساعة أخرى معك “

Today — July 8 — is the birthday of Palestinian poet and memoirist Mourid Barghouti (I Saw Ramallah; I Was Born There, I Was Born Here). It is also, as Barghouti reminds us, the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of the great Palestinian novelist and short-story writer Ghassan Kanafani.

Kanafani’s Men in the Sun was voted by the Arab Writers Union as one of the “top 100” books of the 20th century (it was translated by Hilary Kilpatrick and published by Lynne Rienner). And Kanafani’s  work continues to live on in print and in different, controversial stage adaptations in Israel, the U.S., Lebanon, and elsewhere.

Also, on this fortieth anniversary of Kanafani’s death, a mural was unveiled at the entrance to Bethlehem:

More from Kanafani:

“Letter from Gaza” by Ghassan Kanafani. And a reaction to the piece: “When words fail, read literature.”

“Jaffa: Land of oranges,” by Ghassan Kanafani, translated by Mona Anis and Hala Halim

The estate’s official website; you can find a bit more of his translated work here.

Books in English translation include Men in the Sun and Other Palestinian Storiestranslated by Kilpatrick; Palestine’s Children: Returning to Haifa & Other Stories, translated by Barbara Harlow and Karen E. Riley; and All That’s Left to You, translated by May Jayyusi and Jeremy Reed.


  1. My mistake, when I opened the link the lines were “scrambled” and I saw the date with the word “birthday” and Ghassan’s name. I think it was my personal computer that doesn’t handle graphics and text at the same time. I apologize. Thanks. Maybe the web person can delete my post so it doesn’t give the wrong impression about your website which I think is wonderful.

    1. OK, of course, let me see how to do that.

    2. And thank you!

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