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The Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS) is grateful for the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation’s financial support for the participation of the Palestinian poet, Najwan Darwish in two poetry events and literary meetings in the Netherlands (10-11 October).

A two-hour poetry reading session at Stichting Perdu (Amsterdam). LUCIS cooperated with Stichting Perdu on organizing the poetry-reading event in Amsterdam. The title of the event was Commitment and Poetry. The event focused on questions regarding commitment in literature, fluid identities, and the power of the word as a way of representation and a vehicle for change, and included: 1. Poetry-reading by the Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish and the South-Korean poet Mia You, 2. Discussion with the moderator Dr. Petra de Bruijn, and 3. Discussion with the audience. Around 40 people joined the event. Perdu is a foundation that provides space and opportunity for local and international poets to present their work, and engage in literary discussions that go beyond the mainstream literary scene.

A two-hour poetry workshop. In the event Entangling Palestinian and Dutch Poetry, Najwan Darwish (Palestine) and Anne Vegter (the Netherlands), two renowned national and international poets, read and analysed a selection of their poetry with an international group of students from Leiden University (The Netherlands) and Birzeit University (Palestine). Prof. Yra van Dijk led the discussion about issues regarding one’s homeland, translation, and reception of poetry in the Arab world and the Netherlands. The poets read three of their poems in their original language. The students at Birzeit University were able to join the discussion through Skype, listen to the poets, and ask some questions. This videoconference would not have been possible without the collaboration of the head of the English department Dr. Rania Jawad and the help of other instructors and staff members.

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