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Freie Universitaet Berlin Launches Podcast “Country of Words”

By iednewsdesk On Jul 4, 2023

Various aspects of Palestinian literature will form the main focus of a new podcast series produced and released at Freie Universität Berlin. The podcast, Country of Words, is run by the team of researchers behind the PalREAD project at Freie Universität Berlin, with each episode consisting of an hour-long conversation with a key figure in Palestinian literature. Featuring a total of ten episodes, the podcast can be found on both Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The podcast features conversations with guests such as Mahmoud Shukair, Elias Khoury, and Ghassan Zaqtan, who will be talking about the books that inspired them, current developments in the Palestinian literary scene, and the contents of their bookshelves at home. The podcast forms part of the research project “PalREAD – Country of Words: Reading and Reception of Palestinian Literature from 1948 to the Present,” which has been funded by the European Research Council since 2018.

The conversations take listeners on a journey through multiple countries and eras, documenting unwritten dimensions of Palestinian literature and uncovering its untold stories. The first three episodes of Country of Words are already available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, with a new episode released every week.

Each hour-long episode centers on a key figure from the Palestinian literature scene, who is invited to speak on the podcast about their cultural and literary biography. They also read from their own works or from key literary texts. The guests on the podcast provide insights into current developments in the Palestinian literary scene and even share which books line their shelves at home.

Guests on the Country of Words podcast
Liana Badr, author, poet, and filmmaker (episode already available)
Mahmoud Shukair, author, storyteller, and recipient of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (episode already available)
Asmaa Azaizeh, poet, performer, and journalist (episode already available)
Faisal Darraj, philosopher, literary and cultural critic
Elias Khoury, author, editor, and recipient of the Prize of Palestine and the Al Owais Cultural Award
Ghassan Zaqtan, poet, author, editor, and recipient of the Griffin Prize
Huzama Habayeb, author, storyteller, poet, and recipient of the Naguib Mahfoz Medal for Literature
Abed Abdi, painter, sculptor, illustrator, and book cover designer
Hadi Danyal, poet, journalist, and publisher
Rajaa Ghanem, poet and educator
The PalREAD Research Project
PalREAD is a digital, multimedia research project that aims to uncover the global history of Palestinian literature by tracing, collecting, mapping, and analyzing the development and evolution of twentieth-century Palestinian literary and cultural production and practices across various Arab, European, American, Latin American, and Caribbean countries.


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