Dear PYM Friends and Supporters,
We are proud to announce the release of the First Annual Anthology of the Ghassan Kanafani Writing Scholarship and launch of the second year of this scholarship!
We in the Palestinian Youth Movement write this statement to honor the work and legacy of Ghasan Kanafani as part of the larger history of our ongoing liberation struggle. Born on this day in 1936 in Acre, Kanafani dedicated his life to the Palestinian struggle both through his work with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) as well as his writing. The two were never politically exclusive for Kanafani, as he famously remarked, “My political vision springs from my being a novelist. Insofar as I am concerned, politics and the novel are an indivisible case and I can categorically state that I became politically committed because I am a novelist, not the opposite.”
The fire and brilliance of Kanafani’s works stems in large part from their ability to illuminate and to inspire. Texts such as Men and the Sun and “Letter from Gaza” demonstrate Kanafani’s power to relate stories that are at once particular accounts of physical displacement and the ravages of our colonial condition and simultaneously serve as allegories for the larger Palestinian struggle. Everything, Kanafani reminded us, is interconnected; as our colonization is layered and patterned, no moment of its oppression, no matter how seemingly personal or individualized, can be viewed in isolation. Resistance, then, whether by pen or gun, must never lose sight of these overlaps, and even the smallest instance of individual dissent carries with it the potential for collective resonance and empowerment.
We have no use for ghosts when our lives are the sites of haunting. 45 years after the fact, Israel’s murder of Ghassan Kanafani has shown only how alive he remains, and that he very well may live forever. On this day, we affirm that so long as his example continues to inspire Palestinians to resist, Kanafani lives on. For his story is all of our stories, the extended narrative of the liberation struggle we imagine into being.
Ghassan has also taught us the power of words in telling our story to the world to humanize our people, make legible our cause, and legitimize our long-standing steadfastness and resistance. It is on this premise and with this spirit that we are humbly presenting the anthology and scholarship initiative. This scholarship proactively affirms our commitment to honoring our heroes, empowering the voices of our youth, and building spaces for this creative expression and leadership to emerge.
The efforts of this project are completely grassroots. We aim to raise funds that will ensure the continuation and expansion of this initiative for years to come--all funds will go directly to the scholarship. Please consider contributing to this cause on our website and sharing with all of your networks and friends.
Please apply and spread the word about applying for the 2017 scholarship! For questions or specific information about the scholarship, please send all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.