ArabLit Recommends: A Crowdfunding Campaign for ‘Shatila Stories’

Peirene Press recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for “Peirene Now! No. 3: Shatila Stories“:

The campaign, now nearing its halfway mark, seeks to fund a “collaborative piece of literature commissioned by Peirene, written by nine refugee writers from the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut.”

From their crowdfunding page:

Thirty-five years ago this September the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut witnessed a brutal massacre. Following the Syrian Civil War the camp, originally built in 1949 to hold 3,000 Palestinian refugees, now houses between 20,000 and 40,000 people. This summer nine inhabitants answered Peirene’s call for writers to respond to their situation with a collaborative piece of fiction. The result is Shatila Stories. Please support their book and secure your copy.

Although many have written about Shatila — particularly the 1982 massacres — these literary voices usually come from outside the camp.

The main focus of Peirene Press has been short, literary works by European authors. Yet certainly “Europe,” Lebanon, and Syria have long been entangled spaces, with the movements of political power and occupation, weapons, money, wars, and migration.

From the crowdfunding campaign, which focuses on recent movements:

1 million have made their way to Europe where Syrians represent the biggest group of asylum seekers. However, Lebanon has been far worse affected. With 1.5 million Syrian refugees now living in the country, Lebanon has more refugees per capita than any other country in the world.

There will be two editions of the book, one in English and another in Arabic, with profits going to the Lebanese NGO Basmeh & Zeitooneh, which operates a cultural center in the Shatila camp.

Find more about it at Kickstarter: