Palestine +100: Majd Kayyal
Meet the author
The meetings with writers at Passa Porta, prepared with passion, courage and thoroughness, are more than simply the presentation of literary works. We seek to achieve a genuine connection between writer and reader, and among readers themselves.Go to overview
What will Palestine look like in 2048, a century after the state of Israel was founded? A question that is surely impossible to answer. And yet 12 Palestinian writers have given it a try and let their imagination loose. Among them, Majd Kayyal, a novelist and journalist, and one of the most important voices of the young generation of Palestinian intellectuals.
Palestinian science fiction
Al-Nakba, or ‘the disaster’. That is the term used by Palestinians to describe the events of 1948: the Arab-Israeli war, the stream of 700,000 Palestinian refugees it brought about, and all the misery, tragedies and trauma that have followed. What will this torn-apart country look like a century after the event? In Palestine +100 (Comma Press, 2019), 12 Palestinian writers sketch visions of the future. And what visions! From a terrifying dystopia to an over-the-top high-tech society, all possible scenarios and genres feature in the science-fiction collection – a rare genre in Palestinian literature. A serious question lurks behind grotesque swarms of drones, a Palestinian superhero and time travel: will lasting peace finally be achieved, or will future technology only increase the suffering of the Palestinians?
Majd Kayyal (b. 1990) is one of the 12 writers of Palestine +100. He was born in Haifa, where he still lives. His family was driven out of al-Barwa in Galilee, the birthplace of the famous poet Mahmoud Darwish. Kayyal studied philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was active in different political campaigns and projects. His novel The Tragedy of Matar (2016) won the Qattan Foundation Young Writer Award. In 2017 he published the political essay How Does the Zionist Regime Transform? Kayyal writes for various media in the Arab world and is also known for his personal literary blog, Message to the Tricontinental.
At Passa Porta, he will read from his work and talk with politicologist Feras Abo Dabboseh (Lagrange Points).
Richness from the Middle East
This special literary evening is the result of a collaboration between Passa Porta and Lagrange Points, a Brussels-based initiative that brings the tremendous diversity of Arab culture and literature into the open.
Lagrange Points is a collective consisting of students, teachers, musicians, writers and cultural activists from the Middle East and Europe. The group has already opened two pop-up bookshops in Brussels. Passa Porta supports Lagrange Points with advice and shared programmes.