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The Atlas is proud to be partnering with the Hay Festival's Beirut39 contest, celebrating Beirut's year as UNESCO World Book Capital, to find the hottest authors under 40 of Arabic origin. Nominations are open until August 24th, 2009.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Palfest 09: Culture vs. Power

The Guardian reports today that armed Israeli police last night tried to halt the opening night of the Palestinian Festival of Literature, organised by Ahdaf Soueif, when they ordered a Palestinian theatre in East Jerusalem to close, claiming that the festival - which is funded by the British Council and UNESCO - had received funding from the Palestinian Authority.

Soueif writes on Palfest's author blog (referring to a famous phrase of Edward Said's):
Today, my friends, we saw the clearest example of our mission: to confront the culture of power with the power of culture.
Despite attempts to prevent the sharing and transmission of culture, Palfest is using all the communications tools at its disposal to reach out -- for videos, photos, blogs and other Palfest updates go here. Here's a video from the opening night:

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