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Mahdi Sabbagh

Their Borders, Our World: Building new solidarities with Palestine

Their Borders, Our World: Building new solidarities with Palestine

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From the organizers of the Palestine Festival of Literature, this anthology of essays connects Palestinian resistance with global freedom struggles against settler colonialism and calls on us to think more concretely about the practice of solidarity.

The Palestine Festival of Literature, or PalFest, was created in 2008 as “a cultural initiative committed to the creation of language and ideas for combating colonialism in the 21st century.” The annual festival brings authors from around the world to convene with readers, artists, writers, and activists in cities across Palestine for cross-pollination of radical art, ideas, and literature.

These efforts resulted in Their Borders, Our World, an anthology thoughtfully arranged and introduced by PalFest cocurator Mahdi Sabbagh. Contributors include: Yasmin El-Rifae, Jehan Bseiso, Keller Easterling, Dina Omar, Tareq Baconi, Samia Henni, Omer Shah, Kareem Rabie, Ellen Van Neerven, Omar Robert Hamilton, and Mabel O. Wilson.

Each piece grapples with the questions: How do we confront the need to take inevitable and often difficult political stances? How do we make sense of the destruction, uprooting, and pain that we witness? And given our seemingly impossible reality, how is mutuality constructed?

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Mahdi Sabbagh is a writer, architect, and urbanist from Jerusalem. He is a co-curator of PalFest, the Palestine Festival of Literature. His work has been published in the Journal of Public Culture, Jerusalem Quarterly, Architecture of the Territory (Kaph Books, 2022), Open Gaza (AUC Press, 2021), The Funambulist, Arab Urbanism, and PLATFORM. He is a 2023 Matakyev Research Fellow at the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands. Mahdi is a PhD student at Columbia University and holds a Masters in Architecture from Yale.

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