Message from Palestine Writes Festival

By Susan Abulhawa
January 2, 2024

Today is not the New Year for us. It is Day 87.

…of Yusuf with the curly hair, the cute fair skinned boy; of Reem, the “soul of my soul”; of Kamal..Kamal; of “my mother, I knew her by her hair”; of the babies in her arms who “I swear by God, died before I could feed them”; of Sila and the thousands like her without a single remaining family member; of the last biscuit, and last new pair of socks on small feet; of names written in markers on faces and body parts, a hope for the minimal dignity of being identified in death, a parent’s desperate final act to at least ensure the names of their babies are recorded as having been on this earth, however briefly.

We created a short documentary of this historic festival to remember this moment of light, love, and togetherness. We did not omit mention of the racist assaults on us, because that is also part of the story.

We will have another festival, inshallah, which we’ll announce in the coming months. We will not be deterred or silenced. We will be louder and bigger, and our glorious ancient heritage and history will be redeemed in our lifetime.

Thank you to Media for Good for making this mini documentary. We hope you will watch and share it.

Additionally, Palestine Writes has created a fund to assist stranded students. There are hundreds of Palestinian students from Gaza who were studying abroad and who found themselves stranded without means of support, and in some cases, without family anymore. Currently, we’re helping two medical students in Türkiye. One of them is a fourth year and one second year, both of whom cannot cover their tuition. If you know of other stranded students who need tuition and sustenance assistance, please give them our contact information. And please give if you can to this fund.

In solidarity and with love,

susan abulhawa

on behalf of Palestine Writes Literature Festival