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Encyclopedia > Ghassan Kanafani
Ghassan Kanafani
Ghassan Kanafani

Ghassan Kanafani (غسان كنفاني, born April 9, 1936 in Acre, Palestine - died July 8, 1972 in Beirut, Lebanon) was a Palestinian writer and a spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He was assassinated by car bomb in Beirut; Some suspected Israeli security services to be involved in the killing, but responsibility has never been claimed by them or any other party nor has the guilty party been established. Image File history File links Ghassan-Kanafani. ... Image File history File links Ghassan-Kanafani. ... April 9 is the 99th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (100th in leap years). ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Akko (Hebrew עכו; Arabic عكّا ʿAkkā; also, Acre, Accho, Acco, and St. ... July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 176 days remaining. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Beirut ( translit: ) is the capital, largest city, and chief seaport of Lebanon. ... The term Palestinian has other usages, for which see definitions of Palestinian. ... The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (Arabic الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين - al-jabhah al-sha`biyyah li-tahrÄ«r filastÄ«n) is a Marxist-Leninist, nationalist Palestinian political and military organization, founded in 1967. ...


Early years

Ghassan Fayiz Kanafani was born in Acre in 1936, in what was then the British Palestine Mandate, to Sunni Muslim Palestinian parents. His father was a lawyer, and sent Ghassan to French missionary school. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Kanafani and his family were forced into exile. They fled to Lebanon, but soon moved on to Damascus, Syria, to live there as Palestinian refugees. Kanafani completed his secondary education in Damascus and received a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) teaching certificate in 1952. On June 24, 1922 the League of Nations agreed upon a document called the Palestine Mandate. ... Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ... A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Turkish: Müslüman, Persian and Urdu: مسلمان, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of Islam. ... Combatants  Israel Egypt Syria Transjordan  Lebanon Saudi Arabia Iraq Holy War Army Arab Liberation Army Commanders Yaakov Dori Yigael Yadin Glubb Pasha Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni† Hasan Salama Fawzi al-Qawuqji Strength 29,677 initially–108,300 by December 1948 Egypt: 10,000 initially rising to 20,000 Iraq... Damascus at sunset Damascus ( translit: Also commonly: الشام ash-Shām) is the largest city of Syria and is also the capital. ... A Palestinian refugee In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a Palestinian refugee is a refugee from Palestine created by the Palestinian Exodus, which Palestinians call the Nakba (Arabic: ‎, meaning disaster or catastrophe). The United Nations definition of a Palestinian refugee is a person whose normal place of residence was Palestine between... Damascus at sunset Damascus ( translit: Also commonly: الشام ash-Shām) is the largest city of Syria and is also the capital. ... The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a relief and human development agency, providing education, healthcare, social services and emergency aid to over four million Palestinian refugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. ...

Political background

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Timeline · Peace process
Balfour Declaration · Partition · British Mandate
Transjordan · Israel
Palestinian exodus
Jordanian control (West Bank)
Egyptian control (Gaza Strip)
1st Intifada · Oslo Accords · 2nd Intifada
Israeli West Bank barrier
West Bank Closures The term Palestine and the related term Palestinian have several overlapping (and occasionally contradictory) definitions. ... The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a part of the greater Arab-Israeli conflict, is an ongoing dispute between the State of Israel and Palestinian people. ... This is an incomplete timeline of events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ... The UN Partition Plan Map of the State of Israel today The Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years, despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East. ... The Balfour Declaration was a letter dated November 2, 1917 from the British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, to Lord Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation, a private Zionist organization. ... On 29 November 1947 the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine or United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, a plan to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict in the British Mandate of Palestine, was approved by the United Nations General Assembly, at the UN World Headquarters in New York. ... Flag Palestine and Transjordan were incorporated (under different legal and administrative arrangements) into the British Mandate of Palestine, issued by the League of Nations to Great Britain on 29 September, 1923 Capital Not specified Organizational structure League of Nations Mandate High Commissioner  - 1920 — 1925 Sir Herbert Louis Samuel  - 1945 — 1948... Map of the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine The Emirate of Transjordan was an autonomous political division of the British Mandate of Palestine, created as an administrative entity in April 1921 before the Mandate came into effect. ... The Palestinian exodus (Arabic: الهجرة الفلسطينية al-Hijra al-Filasteeniya) refers to the refugee flight of Palestinian Arabs during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. ... Map of the West Bank today Rule of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan. ... Map of the Gaza Strip from The World Factbook. ... The First Intifada, or Palestinian uprising refers to a series of violent incidents between Palestinians and Israelis between 1987 and approximately 1990. ... Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat during the Oslo Accords on September 13, 1993. ... Combatants  Israel  Palestinian Authority: Several Palestinian militant groups Commanders Ehud Barak Ariel Sharon Ehud Olmert Yassar Arafat Casualties 1,017 Israeli dead. ... The barrier route as of May 2005. ... The West Bank closure system comprises a series of obstacles including checkpoints, partial checkpoints, agricultural and road gates, observation towers, earthmounds, roadblocks, tunnels, earth walls, road barriers, trenches and permit restrictions placed by the the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). ...

Palestinian National Authority

Geography of the West Bank and Gaza Strip
Palestinian territories
List of Arab localities in Palestine 1948
West Bank · Gaza Strip
Districts · Cities · East Jerusalem
Refugee camps
Biodiversity It has been suggested that Palestinian government of March 2006 be merged into this article or section. ... Location: Middle East, west of Jordan Geographic coordinates: Map references: Middle East Area: total: 5,860 km² land: 5,640 km² water: 220 km² note: includes West Bank, Latrun Salient, and the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea, but excludes Mount Scopus; East Jerusalem and Jerusalem No mans land... This article is about the Palestinian territories as a geopolitical phenomenon. ... District of Acre Acre Amqa Arab al-Samniyya al-Bassa al-Birwa al-Damun Dayr al-Qassi al-Ghabisiyya Iqrit Iribbin, Khirbat Jiddin, Khirbat al-Kabri Kafr Inan Kuwaykat al-Manshiyya al-Mansura Miar al-Nabi Rubin Nahf al-Nahr al-Ruways Sakhnin Shaab Suhmata al-Sumayriyya Suruh... The 16 Governorates of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are divided into 16 districts (Aqdya, singular - qadaa). ... Map of the West Bank Map of Gaza Strip This is a list of cities and towns in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the two territories that make up the Palestinian territories. ... East Jerusalem is that part of Jerusalem which was held by Jordan from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War until the Six-Day War in 1967. ... List of Palestinian refugee camps with current population and year they were established: Gaza, 8 camps, 478,854 refugees 1948, Beach camp (Shati), 76,109 1949, Bureij, 30,059 1948, Deir el-Balah, 20,188 1948, Jabalia (Jabalyia, Abalyia), 103,646 1949, Khan Yunis, 60,662 1949, Maghazi, 22,536... This article is about the fauna and flora in the geographical region of Israel and the Disputed Territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip). ...


Political Parties
National Covenant · Foreign Relations
... The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (Arabic: ‎;   or Munazzamat al-Tahrir al-Filastiniyyah) is a political and paramilitary organization regarded bythe Arab League since October 1974 as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. ... It has been suggested that Palestinian government of March 2006 be merged into this article or section. ... The Palestinian National Council (PNC) is the parliament in exile of the Palestinian people. ... The Executive Committee (PLO EC) is the highest executive body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). ... The Palestinian Legislative Council, (sometimes referred to to as the Palestinan Parliament) the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 88 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza. ... A political party is a political organization subscribing to a certain ideology or formed around very special issues with the aim to participate in power, usually by participating in elections. ... The Palestinian National Covenant or Palestinian National Charter (Arabic: al-Mithaq al-Watani al-Filastini) is the charter or constitution of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). ... The Palestinian Declaration of Independence, led to Palestines recognition by 93 countries and to the renaming of the PLO mission in the UN to Palestine. After the formation of the Palestinian Authority, many countries exchanged embassies and delegations with it. ...


Demographics of the West Bank
The Palestinian territories, occupied — according to the United Nations terminology — since the 1967 Six-Day War, include the West Bank and the Gaza strip. ... See also: Demographics of Israel, demographics section in Gaza strip Population: 2,020,298 note: in addition, there are some 171,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and about 172,000 in East Jerusalem (July 2000 est. ...


Economy of the West Bank
Economy - overview: Economic conditions in the West Bank - where economic activity is governed by the Paris Economic Protocol of April 1994 between Israel and the Palestinian Authority - have deteriorated since the early 1990s. ...

Religion & Religious Sites

Palestinian Jew · Palestinian Christian
Druze · Sunni Muslim
Al-Aqsa Mosque · Dome of the Rock
Church of the Nativity · Rachel's Tomb
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islam, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhism, Sikh, Hindu, Jain (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Diane de Poitiers, Maltese cross Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that (generally) involve a faith in a spiritual nature and... A Palestinian Jew is a Jewish inhabitant of Palestine throughout certain periods of Middle East history. ... The Palestinian Christians are Palestinians who follow Christianity. ... Druze star The Druze or Druz (also known as Druse; Arabic: derzÄ« or durzÄ« درزي, pl. ... Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ... For other uses, see Al-aqsa (disambiguation). ... The Dome of the Rock in the center of the Noble Sanctuary The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: مسجد قبة الصخرة, translit. ... View of The Church of the Nativity from Manger Square The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. ... Rachels Tomb is a holy site of high significance to Judaism and is located in Northern Judea (Southern West Bank) just outside of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo at the northern entrance to Bethlehem along what was once the Biblical Bethlehem-Ephrath road. ... Main Entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, called the Church of the Resurrection (Anastasis in Greek and Surp Harutyun in Armenian) by Eastern Christians, is a Christian church now within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. ...


Music · Dance · Arab cuisine
Palestinian Arabic
Palestinian flag Palestinian culture is most closely related to the cultures of the nearby Levantine countries such as Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan and of the Arab World. ... In the areas now controlled by Israel and Palestinian National Authority, multiple ethnic groups, races and religions have long held on to a diverse culture. ... Dabke (also transliterated from the Arabic as debke and dabkeh) is the traditional folk dance of the Levant, going back generations, and is also the national dance of Lebanon. ... Arab cuisine is the cuisine of the Arab countries. ... Palestinian Arabic is a Levantine Arabic dialect subgroup. ...

Notable Personalities

Rashid Khalidi · Mohammad al-Husayni
Edward Said · Emile Habibi
Ghassan Kanafani · Ghada Karmi
Mahmoud Darwish · Samih al-Qasim
Nathalie Handal · Khalil al-Sakakini
Elia Suleiman · May Ziade The following is a list of prominent Palestinians, both from Palestine and from the Palestinian diaspora. ... Rashid Khalidi (1950 - ) is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, and the head of Columbias Middle East Institute. ... Mohammad Amin al-Husayni Mohammad Amin al-Husayni (ca. ... Edward Wadie Said (Arabic: ‎, translit: ) (1 November 1935, Jerusalem &ndash 25 September 2003, New York City) was a well-known Palestinian-American literary theorist and outspoken Palestinian activist. ... Emile Habibi (August, 1921 - May 3, 1996) was a Palestinian-Israeli writer and politician. ... —Ghada Karmi (1939- ) (Arabic: ‎) is a Palestinian doctor of medicine, author and academic. ... Mahmoud Darwish Mahmoud Darwish (born 1941 in Al-Birwah, British mandate of Palestine) is a contemporary Palestinian poet and writer of prose. ... Nathalie Handal (born July 29, 1969) is a Palestinian poet, writer and playwright and a literary researcher. ... Khalil Sakakini Khalil al-Sakakini (خليل السكاكيني) (January 23, 1878 - August 13, 1953) was a distinguished Palestinian Jerusalemite educator, scholar, and poet. ... Elia Suleiman (born July 28, 1960 in Nazareth) is a Palestinian film director and actor. ... May Ziade (1886 - 1941) was born in Palestine (of the Ottoman Empire) in 1886. ...


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The same year he enrolled in the Department of Arabic Literature at the University of Damascus but was expelled in 1955 as a result of his involvement in the Arab Nationalist Movement (ANM), a left-wing pan-Arab organization to which he had been recruited by Dr. George Habash when the two met in 1953. He moved to Kuwait, where he worked as a teacher and became more politically active. In Kuwait he edited al-Ra'i (The Opinion), which was an ANM-affiliated newspaper, and also became interested in Marxist philosophy and politics. Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by speakers of the Arabic language. ... Damascus University is the largest and oldest university in Syria. ... The Arab Nationalist Movement (Harakat al-Qawmiyyin al-Arab), also known as the Movement of Arab Nationalists and the Harakiyyin, was a pan-Arab nationalist organization influential in much of the Arab world, most famously so within the Palestinian movement. ... In politics, left-wing, political left, leftism, or simply the left, are terms which refer (with no particular precision) to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with any of several strains of socialism, social democracy, or liberalism (especially in the American sense of the word), or with opposition... Pan-Arabism is a movement for unification among the Arab peoples and nations of the Middle East. ... Doctor means teacher in Latin. ... George Habash (Arabic جورج حبش) (born 1926), sometimes known by his nom-de-guerre Al-Hakim الحكيم , meaning the doctor, a leading militant and Palestinian politician, as founder and Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1967-2000. ... Marxism refers to the philosophy and social theory based on Karl Marxs work on one hand, and to the political practice based on Marxist theory on the other hand (namely, parts of the First International during Marxs time, communist parties and later states). ... Socrates (central bare-chested figure) about to drink hemlock as mandated by the court. ...

In 1960, he relocated once again to Beirut, where he began editing the ANM mouthpiece al-Hurriya. In 1961, he met Anni Høver, a Danish children's rights activist, with whom he had two children. In 1962, Kanafani briefly had to go underground, since he, as a stateless person, lacked proper identification papers. He reappeared in Beirut later the same year, and took up editingship of the Nasserist newspaper al-Muharrir (The Liberator). He went on to become an editor of another Nasserist newspaper, al-Anwar (The Illumination), in 1967. A stateless person is someone with no citizenship or nationality. ... President Gamal Abdel Nasser Nasserism is an Arab nationalist political ideology based on the thinking of the former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. ...

Involvement in PFLP

The Palestinian membership of the ANM evolved in 1967 into the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), of which Kanafani became a spokesman. In 1969, he drafted a PFLP program in which the movement officially took up Marxism-Leninism. He also edited the movements newspaper, al-Hadaf (The Target), which he had founded in 1969, writing political, cultural and historical essays and articles. On July 8, 1972, Ghassan Kanafani and his niece were assassinated by a bomb planted in his car in Beirut. It is believed by some sources to have been planted by Israeli special forces possibly because of Kanafani's involvement in the PFLP, an organization designated terrorist by Israel and other western nations [1][2] [3]. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (Arabic الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين - al-jabhah al-sha`biyyah li-tahrīr filastīn) is a Marxist-Leninist, nationalist Palestinian political and military organization, founded in 1967. ... Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism; it is a branch of Marxism (and it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ... al-Hadaf (Arabic, The Target) is a Palestinian political newspaper. ... July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 176 days remaining. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Assassin and Targeted killing redirect here. ...

Literary production

Ghassan Kanafani is considered a major modernizing influence on Arab literature, and remains a major figure in Palestinian literature. He was an early proponent of complex narrative structures, using flashback effects and a chorus of narrator voices for effect.

His writings focused mainly on the themes of Palestinian liberation and struggle, and often touched upon his own experiences as a refugee. He was, as was the PFLP, a Marxist, and believed that the class struggle within Palestinian and Arab society was intrinsically linked to the struggle against Zionism and for a Palestinian state. Marxism refers to the philosophy and social theory based on Karl Marxs work on one hand, and to the political practice based on Marxist theory on the other hand (namely, parts of the First International during Marxs time, communist parties and later states). ... For other uses, see Arab (disambiguation). ... Zionism is a political movement that supports a homeland for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, where Jewish nationhood is thought to have evolved somewhere between 1200 BCE and late Second Temple times,[1][2] and where Jewish kingdoms existed up to the 2nd century CE. Zionism is... Proposals for a Palestinian state vary depending on ones views of Palestinian statehood, as well as various definitions of Palestine and Palestinian (see also State of Palestine). ...

He wrote both short stories and novels (the most famous is probably Men in the Sun), and scholarly work on literature and politics. His thesis, Race and Religion in Zionist Literature, formed the basis for his 1967 study On Zionist Literature. Men in the Sun (Arabic, rijāl fī-sh-shams) is a novel by Palestinian writer and political activist Ghassan Kanafani (1936-72), originally published in 1963. ...

He was also an active literary critic. His seminal work, Palestinian Literature Under Occupation, 1948-1968, introduced Palestinian writers and poets to the Arab world. He also wrote a major critical work on Zionist and Israeli literature. In the spirit of Jean-Paul Sartre, he called for an engaged literature which would be committed to change. Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980), normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre (pronounced: ), was a French existentialist philosopher, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. ...

Bibliography, in English

  • Kanafani, Ghassan (Translated by Hilary Kilpatrick): Men in the Sun and Other Palestinian Stories [ISBN 0-89410-857-3] 1998.
  • Kanafani, Ghassan and Barbara Harlow, Karen E. Riley: Palestine's Children: Returning to Haifa & Other Stories. [ISBN 0-89410-890-5] 2000.
  • Kanafani, Ghassan, with Roger Allen, May Jayyusi, Jeremy Reed: All That's Left to You [ISBN 1-56656-548-0] Interlink World Fiction, 2004


Note :Some Names are roughly Translated
  • mawt sarir raqam 12, 1961 (Death of Bed No. 12)
  • ard al-burtuqal al-hazin, 1963 (The Land of Sad Oranges)
  • rijal fi-sh-shams, 1963 (Men in the Sun)
  • al-bab, 1964 (The Door)
  • 'aalam laysa lana, 1965 (A World that is Not Ours)
  • 'adab al-muqawamah fi filastin al-muhtalla 1948-1966, 1966 (Literature of Resistance in Occupied Palestine)
  • ma tabaqqa lakum, 1966 (All That's Left to You)
  • fi al-adab al-sahyuni, 1967 (On Zionist Literature)
  • al-adab al-filastini al-muqawim taht al-ihtilal: 1948-1968, 1968 (Palestinian Resistance Literature under the Occupation)
  • 'an ar-rijal wa-l-banadiq, 1968 (On Men and Rifles)
  • umm sa'd, 1969 (Umm Sa'd)
  • a'id ila Hayfa, 1970 (Return to Haifa)
  • al-a'ma wa-al-atrash, 1972 (The Blind and the Deaf)
  • Barquq Naysan, 1972
  • al-qubba'ah wa-l-nabi, 1973 (The Hat and the Prophet)
  • thawra 1936-39 fi filastin, 1974 (The Revolution of 1936-39 in Palestine))
  • jisr ila-l-abd, 1978 (A Bridge to Eternity)
  • al-qamis al-masruq wa-qisas ukhra, 1982 (The Stolen Shirt and Other Stories)
  • 'The Slave Fort' in Arabic Short Stories, 1983 (transl. by Denys Johnson-Davies)

Men in the Sun (Arabic, rijāl fī-sh-shams) is a novel by Palestinian writer and political activist Ghassan Kanafani (1936-72), originally published in 1963. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Ghassan Kanafani Kulturfond (1117 words)
Ghassan Kanafani, a well known Palestinian journalist, novelist, dramatist, and short story-writer, whose writings were deeply rooted in Arab Palestinian culture, inspired a whole generation during and atter his lifetime, both in word and deed.
Kanafani was forced to leave with his lamily first to Lebanon and later to Syria, in the mass exodus that is known to all Palestinians as the Nakba (the catastrophe) of 1947-1949.
Ghassan knew that he would not live to return to his homeland as he realized that the struggle for a Free and Democratic Palestine is long and difficult.
  More results at FactBites »



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