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Palestine in Print: Showcasing home-grown Palestinian talent

A postcard on sale at Palestine in Print store. Photo by Tazim HamidTazim Hamid's story began with a dream, and a voice fuelled by a passion to help the Palestinian cause. Set up to provide a platform for Palestinian artists and writers to publish their own work free of charge, the Palestine in Print project has done exactly that. Shortly after visiting Palestine in February 2012 as a volunteer to plant olive trees, Hamid's first published photo book, Roots Run Deep: Life in Occupied Palestine by Hamde Abu Rahma, was born, thus paving the way for Palestine in Print. She came into contact with Abu Rahma, a photographer and activist who was featured in the Oscar-nominated film 5 Broken Cameras, and after a few conversations learnt of his dream of publishing a photo book illustrating the unjust and inhumane occupation. This aspiration, however, was stunted by the lack of finances at his disposal in being represented by a publisher, designer, or even in possessing basic resources such as a bank account.

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Colonialism and archaeology: The legacy lives on

File photo of the Great Court, the central dome of the British MuseumThursday marked the 256th anniversary of the day the British Museum first opened its doors to the public. In 1759, the museum was the first of its kind: a national institution free and open to the public and which aimed to showcase the variety and depth of lived human experience. With artefacts from across the globe, and strange and exotic pieces from British colonies in Asia and the Middle East, it provided visitors with a mosaic of history and cultures – a microcosm reflective of British colonial power. Today, the museum hosts one of the largest collections of antiquities in the world, and has even recently expanded its remit to cover contemporary art from the Middle East.

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Theft and Creativity - Archives of a Fragmented Nation

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Palestine's story is one of displacement and dispossession - a people who have been dispersed to all corners of the world, and a homeland that has been methodically carved up by settler-colonialism. Today's fragmented geography - of people as well as places - sees pieces of the collective national jigsaw scattered far from their true homes. The archiving of the Palestinian story in all its intricacies thus presents a huge challenge.

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Souad Massi on rock music, terrorism and bringing people together with music

Souad Massi"I like folk music, and country music, too. In fact, I was listening to Kenny Rogers just recently. I know a lot of people smile when they hear me say that," Souad Massi tells me. Algeria, where the engineer turned singer Massi is from, is not so often associated with European and American melodies. Still, Massi lists Stevie Wonder, Texas, Led Zeppelin and Aretha Franklin among her heroes. "I like gentle music," she adds, a sentiment that is reflected in her personality.

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Sombre amongst the Litterati

Professor Avi Shlaim at the Palestine Book Awards 2014The Palestine Book Awards ceremony organised by Middle East Monitor on 6 November in Paddington took place on an evening of grim news emerging from Jerusalem, with Al-Aqsa under threat from the Temple Mount movement, large scale arrests of Palestinian youths, talk of Israel imposing a military regime on the city and the incident of van ramming. The Palestinian ambassador to London, Manuel Hassassian, set the tone with his forebodings: 'We are hearing that a law is going to be passed in Knesset to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque... the situation is precarious and [leading to] a religious war... a third Intifada is coming'.

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