Book Reading & Discussion: The Archival Fever of the Nakba - The Memoirs of Mohammed Khachan

Thu, July 30, 2009 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Free and Open to the Public

The seismic proportions of the catastrophe of 1948, not merely the tragedies that took place at a particular time, but also the enduring project of displacement and appropriation, are intuited by every Palestinian and by Arabs the world over. The Nakba is not an event relegated merely to the short span of individual memory. Rather, it is a transformational predicament that has shaped the careers, psychological makeup, and vision of millions of people over generations.

As memories of that experience enter the annals of history, the physical records of it, through memoir, documentary, photographs, letters, and transcripts, create a feverish, profuse archive of representations and images. Paradoxically, the nostalgic reconstruction of memory of what once was has inscribed into it forgetfulness-which does not limit itself to repression-and thus it commends into the present the possibility and specter of the future.

About the Author

Mohammed Kamel Khachan was born in Suhmata, Palestine, in 1934. In 1948, he became a refugee in Lebanon. He studied Arabic Literature and Education at the Arab University of Beirut and taught at United Nations (UNRWA) schools for 32 years.He started writing his memoir in 2007 which currently being serialized in various Arab literary websites and newspapers. Presently, he is working on a book of essays on features of life in Palestine before 1948, including traditions, flora and fauna, proverbs, idioms, words and dialects that are unique to Palestine. He is also working on a book of poems dedicated to the memory of his wife who lost her life in the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

Last updated: 2009-07-21 12:22:53

Mohammed Khachan
Mohammed Khachan

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