EnglishDeutschالعربيةOfficial Website & Art Archives

PalRead – Country of Words Podcast EP6: Abed Abdi

In this episode of PalRead – Country of Words Podcast, we speak with artist Abed Abdi about his book illustrations and periodical cover designs since the 1960s in Haifa. Abdi collaborated with writers such as Emil Habibi, Samih al-Qasim, and Salman Natour, as well as with periodicals such as al-Ittihad and al-Jadid.

Abed Abdi was born in Haifa in 1942 and was displaced in 1948 with his family, except his father, to Lebanon and then Syria. His family was reunited with his father in Haifa in 1951. Abdi was the recipient of an art scholarship, which enabled him to move to Dresden in 1964, where he specialized in graphic art, murals and memorial art, studying under artists such as Lea Grunding. Abdi returned to Haifa in 1972, where he began to work for al-Ittihad and al-Jadid until 1982. Considered one of the leading artists in the Palestinian literary context, Abdi worked with the likes of Emil Habibi, Samih al-Qasim, Salman Natour, Muhammad Ali Taha, Deeb Abdi, and many others. He received the Hermann Struck Prize awarded by the city of Haifa in 1973 and 1999, as well as the Palestine Prize in 2019. Alongside his artistic work, Abdi has led educational workshops and was head of al-Maydan theater in Haifa between 2015 and 2019.

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.


Listen via:

Apple Podcasts


Produced by the PalREAD – Country of Words Podcast project, funded by the European Research Council (ERC)
Free University of Berlin, Department of History and Cultural Studies

Interviewer and co-editor: Rand Khdeir

Writer, Producer and Editor: Ibrahim Abdou

Host & Concept Design: Refqa Abu-Remaileh

Sound Editing & Design: Ziad Fayed

VO Recording: Gianpiero Tari

Music: “The Astounding Eyes of Rita” by Anouar Brahem (ECM Records, 2009)

Cover Art: Alexandra Sophia Handal

Production, logistics and technical support: Kerning Cultures

Related Links

Let your voice be heard! Share your thoughts and ignite the conversation. Your comments matter!

Recent Posts

On Abed Abdi’s Solo Exhibition “Between Two Worlds”
May 13, 2024By
Solo Exhibition @ Károlyi Palace in Hungary: “Between 2 Worlds”
May 5, 2024By
Abed Abdi’s Public Talk at Berlin’s House of World Cultures
March 25, 2024By
THERE IS NO THERE THERE: Exhibition at Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art
March 25, 2024By
Abed Abdi’s Public Talk at the Albertinum Museum, Dresden
March 18, 2024By
The Foreign Brothers / Berlin Exhibition Review
March 5, 2024By
Echoes of the Brother Countries / House of World Cultures Berlin
February 10, 2024By
Abed Abdi at the Albertinum in Dresden: “I call for the recognition of Palestine as a second state.”
January 5, 2024By
Group exhibition in South Africa looks for peace through Israeli and Palestinian art
December 11, 2023By
November 26, 2023By

Recent Works


Discover more from Abed Abdi

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading