Ghassan Kanafani, a photo by Assafir newspaper. Courtesy: CC via Wikimedia
CAIRO - 9 July 2017: Saturday, July 8 marked the 45th assassination anniversary of the prominent Palestinian journalist, novelist, and short story writer Ghassan Kanafani.
His writings are deeply rooted in the Palestinian culture, inspired a whole generation during and after his passing. Although Ghassan's novels, are short stories and most of his other literary works are an expression of the Palestinian people and their cause, yet his great literary talent gave his work a universal appeal.
Here are 10 pieces of information about this great Palestinian figure that everyone should know about:
1 - He was born in Acre in the North of Palestine on April 9, 1936 and lived in Jaffa until May 1948.
2 - He had two pen names: Fares Fares and A. F. (standing for Abu Fayez).
3 - In 1971, he represented the Union of Palestinian Writers in the meetings of the executive office of the Union of Arab Writers in Cairo.
4 - He was jailed a number of times; the last one was in 1971 when he was charged with “slander and defamation” of King Faisal and King Hussein.
5 - Kanafani and his young niece Lamis were targeted and assassinated by Israeli agents in a car bomb explosion in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
6 - By the time he was assassinated, Ghassan had published 18 books and written hundreds of articles on politics and culture.
7 - After he was killed, all his books were compiled and re-published in volumes in several editions.
8 - His literary works were translated into many languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Slovak, Czech, Russian, and Japanese. They were published in more than 20 countries.
9 - Two years after his assassination, in 1974 Kanafani was granted the World Press Organization Prize4. The next year, he won the Lotus Prize; a prize gifted by the Writers Union of Asia and Africa. And In 1990, he was awarded the Order of Jerusalem for Culture and Arts.
10 - He authored many short stories in which children are the heroes, that an anthology of his short stories was published in Lebanon, in 1978 entitled "Ghassan Kanafani's Children." Its English translation, first published in 1984, was under the title "Palestine's Children."