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Returning to Haifa


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About the Author

Writer Ghassan Kanafani (1936-1972) is widely regarded as one of Palestine's greatest novelists, writing some of the most admired stories in modern Arabic literature. He was also an intellectual and political activist. His novellas and short stories, which have been translated into dozens of languages, are considered today to have been ahead of their time, both in form and content.
Kanafani wrote the novella Returning to Haifa in 1968, and published it in 1969, a testament not only to his principled commitment to the politics of liberation, but also to his deep empathy for the 'other' as well as his modern approach to storytelling. Ghassan Kanafani was assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut in 1972 at the age of 36.
His young niece Lamis was with him in the car and was killed by the same bomb. Kanafani's obituary in Lebanon's The Daily Star wrote that: 'He was a commando who never fired a gun, whose weapon was a ball-point pen, and his arena the newspaper pages.'

Ismail Khalidi was born in Beirut and raised in the United States. His plays include Truth Serum Blues and Sabra Falling (Pangea World Theater, Minneapolis), Tennis in Nablus (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta) and Foot (Teatro Amal, Chile). His writing has appeared in numerous anthologies as well as in The Nation, Guernica, American Theatre, Mizna and Remezcla. Ismail co-edited (with Naomi Wallace) Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora. He is currently under commission from Noor Theatre and Actors Theatre of Louisville and is a visiting artist with Teatro Amal in Chile.

Naomi Wallace's Finborough Theatre productions include And I And Silence, which subsequently transferred to Signature Theater, New York City. Theatre includes In the Heart of America (Bush Theatre), Slaughter City (Royal Shakespeare Company), One Flea Spare (Public Theater, New York City), The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek and Things of Dry Hours (New York Theatre Workshop), The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East (Public Theater, New York City), and Night is a Room (Signature Theater, New York City). Naomi has been awarded the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize twice, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award, the Obie Award and the Horton Foote Award. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts development grant. In 2013, Naomi received the inaugural Windham Campbell Prize for Drama, and in 2015 an Arts and Letters Award in Literature. Her play One Flea Spare was recently incorporated into the permanent repertoire of the French National Theatre, La Comédie-Française. Only two American playwrights have been added to La Comédie's repertoire in two hundred years, the other being Tennessee Williams.

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