- Two New Issues from the Palestinian Institute for National Guidance
“Palestine in a Changed World” for Ibrahim Barash
& “Laughter Left on The Benches” for Walid Al-Sheikh
Written by Ibrahim Barash, the book “Palestine in a Changed World” is part of the series “The Palestinian Cause” published by the Palestinian Institute for National Guidance in Ramallah.
The writer states the following about his book in the introduction: “The problem in the book’s topic is the collapse that the Palestinian cause is witnessing in its national, Arab, Islamic, and international dimensions. Even the Intifada was unable to completely stop this collapse, except minimally and this book is an attempt to understand the reasons and results. Were it up us to formulate this problem in the form of question, we would do it as follows: What is the reason for the concessions that the Palestinians and Arab Israelis are giving? Are these concessions a recognition of the defeat of the Palestinian national project and the regional Arab-Islamic liberation project? Or is this some sort of realistic policy and dealing with this politics based on the premise that it is the art of the possible? And were we throughout almost a century of conflict and confrontations with the colonial Zionist project, including the scores of martyrs and thousands of detainees, orphans, and widows, on the wrong and living in an illusion and for it?… And many more questions that the author presents in his introduction and attempts throughout the book to answer by following the Palestinian cause’s path on the Palestinian, Arab, and international levels.
The author divided his book into four sections, addressing in each section two topics after which he added his conclusions to each section. In the first Section, he addresses the Palestinian causes path in the peaceful settlement as a strategy in light of the regression of the Arab-regional dimension of the cause. As for the second section, the author wrote on the cause’s course from the armed struggle and historical legitimacy stalemate to the mazes of international legitimacy. Finally, in the third section, the author put his title in the form of a question: Is it Possible for Those Who Were Defeated Militarily to Achieve a Political Victory?
After he presents a detailed explanation on the various aspects of the Palestinian cause in its various dimensions as well as following its courses abroad from Oslo until now, the author presents his conclusion. Following is an excerpt of this conclusion: “I believe the answer of the first question, what are we to do, is not difficult or embarrassing despite this period’s difficulty and the challenges’ danger, if the cause is to be addressed in its historical and strategic context and away from the illusions of peace or in light of the balance of power between us and the other party. Rather, if we were to solve the current situation and placed its facts in light of the historical and strategic understanding of the nature of the conflict in the region and its parties, the cause would become clearer and the questions less embarrassing and shocking”.
The book was published in 237 large-size papers and it is the first publication of the Palestinian Institute for National Guidance within the Palestinian cause series.
The second book issued by the same institute is a poetry collection titled “Laughter Left on The Benches” for the poet Walid Al-Sheikh within the series “Culture and Innovation”.
This collection constitutes a distinguished development in the poet’s work, where the tangible language, in its simplicity and spread in various time spaces, successive at times and intertwined at others, constituted verses that the poet worked on with awareness and perception so that it may reach the reader with its contents through the poetic pictures that are deepened by sudden dislodgments that invoke surprise and optic leaps so that it may be devoured at once. For in his verses, there are cases of poetic blazes, remembering with a heightened imagination, the recent past as if it were now, and the distant closeness as if it were a river flowing backwards.
The poet divided his collection under five titles: “Vision Upwards… Listening to the Lost Footsteps”, “Laughter Left on The Benches”, “Sticky Songs”, “The Fact of the Matter Is”, and “Old Pictures”.
We read the following from the collection:
“We did not rush crying
We did not ask the city inhabitants about the reason
Got busy arranging our names
According to the alphabet
So that we don’t fall
Martyrs in new fallacies.
With our teeth…
What is said in public
So they fell from the letters’ weight
And it withdrew dragging behind the camp…
Packed in punctured caskets
From which the sin falls…only to grow.”
In his remembering, Walid Al-Sheikh is partial to the details of his daily life, releasing his most heightened apprehensions, going to the past and delving in its slopes and mazes in the context of knowledge, reflection, and hardening of the soul.
The woman wanders about in the verses’ details, quiet at times and loud at others in the heat of body’s blazes and eruptions… The poet seems pleasurable with his preoccupation with the female. The verses were markedly short and condensation for suddenly creating the scene and the shock of the word.
Walid Al-Sheikh in “Laughter Left on The Benches” leads the vision upwards and the hearing to the lost footsteps. In fact, the collection is considered a distinguished mark in the Palestinian prose experience. Composed of 95 medium-size papers, the collection is the poet’s second following “Where There Are No Trees”, published by the Palestinian House of Poetry, Ramallah in 1999.