Looting books from Palestinian libraries: Dark stories
“IN THE dark rooftop viewing space of the Khalil Al Sakakini Cultural Centre in Ramallah, the air was heavy with sighs. Occasionally the faint sound of a whimper could be heard. The screen flickered with images of Palestinians forced out of their homes in the 1948 war. On camera, refugees recounted their ordeals and lamented the loss of something precious: their books. This was the Ramallah debut of “The Great Book Robbery”, a 2012 documentary about the looting of some 70,000 books from private Palestinian libraries during the 1948 war. It vividly chronicles the large-scale cultural pillage and dispossession of Palestinian literary archives. Directed by Benny Brunner, a Dutch-Israeli immigrant and self-described former Zionist, the film left the 40 or so attendees in awe. Adding to the poignance, the audience was gathered in a centre named for a famous Palestinian poet and scholar whose own book collection had been looted.”
via The Economist
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