The British Council supported the recent Palestinian festival of literature – Kalimat – in partnership with the Educational Bookshop and the Kenyon Institute in Jerusalem. The festival aimed to provide creative spaces and demonstrate the importance of writing as a tool to bring communities together. It included a series of cultural and literary seminars which took place in Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Haifa.
Fourteen award-winning Palestinian and international authors took part in the festival to exchange ideas and inspiration. There were also meetings and workshops in four Palestinian universities: Birzeit University, Al Quds University, Al Najah University and Bethlehem University. These workshops focused on writing skills and helped Palestinian students develop their creative work through meetings with international authors, as well connecting them with international literature.
The festival was beneficial to visiting authors too. Mahmoud Muna of the Educational Bookshop, and one of the organisers of the festival, arranged a series of tours and meetings for international authors, helping them to immerse themselves in contemporary Palestinian culture and facilitating the exchange of ideas with local writers.