The Christian Science Monitor

For still-stateless Palestinians, cultural life serves as a building block

On the top of a steep hill in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestinians’ de facto capital, the new Mahmoud Darwish Museum unfolds like the pages of an open book.

In one wing of the milky colored stone building, poems written in the neat hand of the man celebrated as the Palestinian national poet are on display alongside items like his writing desk and the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, which he penned.

On the other side is a hall where Palestinian authors, poets, filmmakers, and other artists from around the Arab world give readings and talks.

On a tour of the building’s grounds, Sameh Khader, director of the museum and its foundation, points out an outdoor amphitheater and the lemon and olive trees transplanted from Palestinian villages and cities. He pauses next to the centerpiece of the outdoor plaza: Mr. Darwish’s tomb.

“Our goal is to not only commemorate Mahmoud Darwish, but to open horizons to create another Mahmoud Darwish. We don’t want to

‘Bolstering the national identity’‘People want to be seen’Visit to the Arafat MuseumA conversation with Palestinian artists

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