Ghassan Kanafani: Larger than Life
“Everything in this world can be stolen, except the love that emanates from a human being towards a solid commitment to a just cause.” - Ghassan Kanafani
On the morning of Saturday, 8 July 1972, Ghassan Kanafani finished drinking coffee with his family and got into his car with his 17-year-old niece, Lamis, to show her around downtown Beirut. A bomb that had been planted in the car by the Israeli secret service took both their lives that morning. Kanafani was 36 years old.
A refugee from Akka (Acre), Kanafani edited the Nasserist newspaper Al-Muharrir in Beirut in the early 1960s, and joined the Arab Nationalist Movement (ANM), which later became the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Kanafani was one of the Front’s lead ideologues and the founder and editor of its newspaper Al-Hadaf. He is credited as the first editor to publish the works of renowned cartoonist Naji Al-Ali.
During his tragically short life, he published eighteen books, wrote hundreds of articles, short stories, and plays, and produced numerous paintings and sketches. Thirty-six years after his death, Ghassan Kanafani’s name and face are still spray-painted on the walls and hearts of Palestine - a symbol of a people’s struggle for justice and dignity. His pen was at least as dangerous to Zionist oppression as the guns and armaments of the Arab resistance.