Re-writing 1948

Saladin lecture 2011 by Elias Khoury

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Organised byLitteraturhuset

The Saladin Days 2011 Saladin lecture 2011 by Elias Khoury

In 1187, the Arabic army leader Saladin conquered Jerusalem from the Christian Crusaders. Following the last, decisive battle, he declared that no Crusader nor Christian in the city should be persecuted or violated. Encouraging the Franks to stay, Saladin also called on banished Jewish families to return. When some of his closest men protested loudly, Saladin answered them that “Christians everywhere will remember the kindness we have done them.” Because of Saladin’s actions, the Crusaders’ final defeat is also remembered as a new start for the peoples in the Holy Land – in the name of reconciliation.

The war that erupted following the 1948 formation of the Israeli state is one in a long line of battles and struggles that has taken place in this region, while, simultaneously, it created the foundation for the current situation in the Middle East. After the war ended, the struggle for its narrative began – and continues – guided by the overarching question: How should we remember this war?

That is the question Elias Khoury asks in this opening lecture at the International Saladin Days 2011. The Lebanese writer and critic has emerged as one of the most important intellectuals in the Middle East.

Litteraturhuset Wergeland

Andre anbefalte arrangementer

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