Ghassan Kanafani, a distinguished Ghassan , novelist, and short story writer, was assassinated 49 years ago on July 8.
His writings, which are strongly steeped in Palestinian culture, have inspired a generation of Palestinians both during and after his death. Despite the fact that most of Ghassan's novels, short stories, and other literary works are expressions of the Palestinian people and their cause, his remarkable literary talent gave his work an international appeal.
Here are ten facts about this important Palestinian figure that everyone should be aware of:
1 - He was born on April 9, 1936, in Acre, Palestine, and lived in Jaffa until May 1948.
2 - Fares Fares and A. F. were his pen names (standing for Abu Fayez).
3 - In Cairo, he represented the Union of Palestinian Writers at sessions of the Union of Arab Writers' executive office in 1971.
4 - He was imprisoned several times, the most recent being in 1971, when he was charged with "slander and defamation" against King Faisal and King Hussein.
5 - Israeli agents targeted and assassinated Kanafani and his young niece Lamis in a car bomb explosion in Beirut, Lebanon's capital.
6 - Ghassan had published 18 books and authored hundreds of articles on politics and culture by the time he was slain.
7 - After his death, all of his books were gathered and re-published in many versions in volumes.
8 - His works have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Slovak, Czech, Russian, and Japanese languages. They were distributed in almost 20 countries.
9 - Kanafani was awarded the World Press Organization Prize four years after his assassination, in 1974. He was awarded the Lotus Prize by the Writers Union of Asia and Africa the following year. He was also given the Order of Jerusalem for Culture and Arts in 1990.
10 - He wrote so many short stories with children as the protagonists that an anthology of his short stories called "Ghassan Kanafani's Children" was published in Lebanon in 1978. It was initially published in English in 1984 under the title "Palestine's Children."