Jerusalem in Palestinian poetry

Authored by: Atef Alshaer

Routledge Handbook on Jerusalem

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138936935
eBook ISBN: 9781315676517
Adobe ISBN:


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The establishment of Israel in 1948 left the Palestinians in a traumatic state of lamentation and remembrance. The loss of their historical land became a hallmark of their national identity and discourse, only to be accentuated in 1967 with the Israeli occupation of the rest of Palestine, including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Ever since, the Palestinians, an ethnically diverse body of people, have expressed their attachment to their homeland, their anguish and indeed heartbreak for its fate through several mediums, notably poetry. Rhymed verse voices their feelings and nostalgia towards places from which they were dispossessed and exiled or in which they have become aliens, and longing for a future when they would return to them. In this poetry, Jerusalem occupies a position of note, given its political, religious and cultural centrality to Palestinians.

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