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DAILY STAR

July 12, 2005

DAILY STAR

Kanafani's 'Little Lantern' gets a new lease on life

 

BEIRUT: The life of Ghassan Kanafani, celebrated Palestinian artist and writer, was commemorated Monday at the American University of Beirut's Alumni Center on the 33rd anniversary of his death.

Kanafani, a political activist who often wrote about the plight of the Palestinian people, was killed along with his niece Lamis by a car bomb explosion in Beirut in 1972, widely believed to have been carried out by Israeli agents.

Sponsored by the Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Foundation, the event also saw the release of the latest edition of Kanafani's book, "The Little Lantern".

Kanafani had originally written "The Little Lantern" for his niece on her ninth birthday.

The new edition includes both English and Arabic versions of the text, as well as manuscripts and illustrations by Kanafani. Anni Kanafani, the author's widow, said: "This book was published before, but not in this way."

She explained that the project was something she had been hoping to accomplish for a number of years, and was finally made possible with help from a few Palestinian friends.

She said: "Thirty-three years ago, in a way, you can say he was killed, but he left behind this book for us to read, for the children to read."

Kanafani's son, Fayez, was also present for the commemoration. He described the latest publication of the book as an attempt to give a new generation a chance to read his father's writings. He said: "It makes me proud that 33 years after his death we can publish this book for children. He wrote for children, and we have children as our future."


By Natalie Bonomo