How Palestinian intellectuals after 1948 shaped national identity

Maha Nassar’s book Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World tells the story of Palestinian writers and intellectuals in Israel for two decades following the 1948 war. To overcome the isolation abruptly imposed on them by the newly established state of Israel, Palestinian intellectuals developed creative strategies to exchange cultural productions with their Arab brethren, disseminating an anticolonial discourse rooted in calls for social justice, sovereignty, and pan-Arab cultural pride. 

After the ’67 war Arab intellectuals took a new look at Palestinian resistance poets, whose defiant verses inspired those still reeling from the shock of the defeat. Poetry festivals played a role in facilitating expressions of belonging and solidarity with global decolonization movements, especially for a younger generation of poets such as Mahmoud Darwish and Samih al-Qasim.

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