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PalFest: On Palestine As A Place of Enduring Miracles

by Abby Zimet

In defiance of the "terrible genius of Israel," writers and activists travelled to a battered Gaza last week for the sixth annual, ever-improbable Palestine Festival of Literature. Born to help break the cultural siege that separates Palestinians from each other and the rest of the world, the festival invites participants to listen, read, talk, bear witness and reaffirm, in the words of Edward Said, "the power of culture over the culture of power." Several hundred attended; many told their stories. So yes: Despite a pervasive media silence, life does go on there.