This week, the 2014 Palestine Festival of Literature (May 31-June 5) announced its full lineup and schedule. Events are set to be held in six cities with the inclusion of such luminaries of world literature as Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje, Kamila Shamsie, and Najwan Darwish:
The festival is set to open in Ramallah on May 31 at the Khalil Sakakini Centre with readings by Michael Ondaatje, Kamila Shamsie, and Hanne-Vibeke Holst
and a panel on “Writing Histories of Resistance” with Ahmad Harb and Haifa Zangana.
Sunday, festival authors will get on a bus and head to Jerusalem, or a poetry reading by Najwan Darwish, a performance by Hussam Ghosheh, and music by Salam Abu Emneh.
On Monday in Bethlehem, two panels are scheduled. One is on “New Media, New Narratives,” with Najwan Darwish, Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Ursula Lindsey, and Rachel Shabi. There’s a second on “Women and Writing History” with Linda Spalding, Nathalie Handal, Sabrina Mahfouz, Susan Abulhawa, and Sapphire.
On Tuesday, the festival will be in Haifa’s Midan Theatre, with a number of readers and speakers: poetry by Najwan Darwish, Nathalie Handal, and Ed Pavlic, a panel with Asmaa Azaizeh and Sheikha Hlewa, a video message from Gaza, and a panel on “Lost Homes, Writing as Return” by Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje, and Kamila Shamsie.
Wednesday, June 4, the festival is set to move to Nablus, where there will be a performance by Amer Hlehel and readings by Rafeef Ziadah, Susan Abulhawa, and Sapphire, as well as music from DAM.
Thursday, the festival will be back in Ramallah, with readings by Teju Cole, Janne Teller, Brigid Keenan, Nathan Hamilton, and Ahdaf Soueif, and a performance by Sabrina Mahfouz.
In addition to performing in the cities mentioned above, the international participants of the festival will visit Hebron, Lydd, Akka, and Iqrith where they will meet with writers, historians, and activists. Authors will run open workshops with Bethlehem University.
Organizers intend to host a simultaneous event in Gaza this year, just as last year, but are still looking to book a space.
There’s also an educational component to PalFest each year and, in 2014, the fest is working with the British Council to offer two intensive, four day workshops after the festival closes. More on those here.
This year’s list of participants includes Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Susan Abulhawa, Ahdaf Soueif, Iyad Barghouthi, Teju Cole, DAM, Ministry of Dub-Key, Najwan Darwish, Nathan Hamilton, Nathalie Handal, Ahmed Harb, Hanne Vibeke Holst, Brigid Keenan, Ursula Lindsey, Sabrina Mahfouz, Micheal Ondaatje, Ed Pavlic, Mazin Qumsiyeh, Sapphire, Kamila Shamsie, Farag Sleman, Ahdaf Soueif, Linda Spalding, Haifa Zangana, and Rafeef Ziadah.