PALESTINIAN POET IN DURBAN
By: Rumana Akoob
American-born Palestinian poet Remi Kanazi visited Durban during his eight-day South African Tour.
Last night he addressed a crowed at the Moses Mabhida Stadium Nino’s Resturantwhere a poetry session was held along South African poets, Dehsan Naiker and Ayesha Mponda. The event was organised by the Muslims Students Association along with the Instituted for Learning and Motivation. Over 90 people were present at the last minute event.
The session was organised to create awareness about the Israeli occupation in Palestine. Organiser, Khadeeja Manjra said, “Events like this are essential as a platform to use art and expression as transformative tools for change. The Palestinian cause is one of great importance to a large part of South African society.”
“I feel humbled by the solidarity South Africa has with Palestine. To see the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) on such a mainstream level with Cosatu and the ANC also taking up the cause is inspiring,” Kanazi said.
Kanazi grew up in the United States of America where his grandparents fled to after becoming refugees. He is also a writer, editor and activist based in New York City. He is the author of Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine. University of Zululand lecturer and poet Dehsan Naicker said that he was drawn to the Palestinian cause. “I feel it is time for people from around the world to stand together against the oppression and occupation in Palestine,” said Naicker.
Between 27 September and 20 October, the Palestinian Cultural Festival will be held at the Durban Art Gallery. It will comprise of Palestinian Film Festivals, a photographic exhibition, visual art, and traditional heritage and cultural performance. The official name of the exhibition is “Phambili Palestine Phambili”, meaning ‘Go forward Palestine go forward.”