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The Palestine Book Awards 2018: refuting the Israeli narrative

28 5 19

How can we tackle the Israeli narrative about Palestine’s past and present, when the Palestinian people continue to struggle against Israel’s colonial occupation which bases its existence on a false narrative about Palestinian history? It is that narrative, after all, which is used to define the prevalent ideology in many areas of the world, mainly the West. How can we refute the Israeli narrative which is dominant in the media and propaganda, and make sure that false history won’t reproduce itself?

Ramzi Baroud, a media advisor and author of The Last Land: A Palestinian Story, responded to such questions in his keynote speech at the 2018 Palestine Book Awards ceremony in London last month. The competition has been organised in Britain by the Middle East Monitor since 2011 with the aim of honouring the year’s best new English-language books on the topic of Palestine and the Palestinians.

The panel of judges, five experts in their respective fields, received 44 books on Palestine published this year in various categories — academic, fiction, art, memoirs and biography — as well as a book on Palestinian cooking and a children’s book. While prizes are usually awarded to those which fall within specific categories, the door is left open for good books to prove themselves even if they fall beyond the fields in question. The judges noticed that, unlike previous years, there was a large percentage of books translated from Arabic to English, which is significant, especially given that relatively few books are translated from any language to English. This encouraged the judges to consider adding another award dedicated to translated work.


© Middle East Monitor