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Kanafani’s Legacy

It has been 49 years since the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani

Jerusalem24 – Ramz Bsharat (Translated by Rula Sughayer) – Today, the 8th of July, marks the forty-ninth anniversary of the martyrdom of the iconic Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani. in 1972, aged 36 years, when the Israeli Mossad assassinated him by blowing up his car in ‘’Al Hazmyeh” region near the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

Kanafani was born on 8th of April, 1936 in Acre. After 1948 Catastrophe (Nakbeh), his family moved to Saida, Lebanon. There, he became involved in the Arab Nationalists Movement, and taught in Kuwait in 1955. At this stage, he was reading a book every day, and started writing political commentary in Kuwaiti newspapers with the signature of Abu Al-Ezz, which drew attention to him, after which he wrote the “stolen shirt”, his first short story.

Kanafani was called the owner of resistance literature, and his literary works; novels and short stories were rooted in depth of Arab and Palestinian culture. Until the day of his demise, he published eighteen books, and wrote hundreds of articles on culture, politics and the struggle of the Palestinian people.

After his assassination, all his works were republished in Arabic, and in many copies. His novels, short stories, plays, and articles were collected and published in 4 volumes.

Most of Kanafani’s literary works were translated to 17 languages and published in more than 20 countries. And some were made into plays and radio shows in many Arab and foreign countries.  Two of his novels have been made into films in 1972.

Kanafani left an important cultural legacy. As it was published: Death of Bed No. 12, a collection of short stories published in Beirut in 1961, and The Land of Sad Oranges. Another collection of short stories was issued in Beirut in 1963 along with “Men in the Sun”, which was turned into a new film entitled “The Deceived”. In addition to “Umm Saad’s” novel in 1969, and the novel, “Returning to Haifa” in 1970. Another short stories collection entitled “The other thing”, was published after his death in 1980, next to the three incomplete novels, which are the lover, the blind and the deaf, and April plums.

Also, he published the kid’s story; “The Little Lantern’’. Besides, three other plays, which are “the Hat and the prophet”, “a Bridge to Forever”, and ‘’The Door’’. In addition to a collection of short stories under the name of “The Stolen Shirt”, and “What is Left of You “novel. Kanafani also made plenty of studies: Resistance literature in occupied Palestine, The resilient Palestinian literature under occupation, in the Zionist literature, 36-39 revolution, and Backgrounds and details.

In 1966, Kanafani received the Book Friends Award in Lebanon for the novel What’s Left of You, the Jerusalem Medal in 1990, the World Journalists’ Organization Award in 1974, and the Lotus Prize in 1975.

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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