City of origin: Palestine
Ciutat of refuge: Barcelona
Duration of period in refuge: 2010-2012
Núdhum al-aql al-khales, Amal xaeriya, Al-julús fi atmat al-beit, Maqal fi mana ar-rih, Bàhjat al-lamussamma, Leil al-qassaïd as-saghira, Maixàghel fi ghurfa, Yawmiyat al-harb ala Ghazza, Yawmiyat al-hissar ala Ghazza, Totes les pedres
Basem AlNabriss was the fourth writer to be sponsored by Catalan PEN as part of the Writers In Refuge programme which allows shelter to be given, for a period of two years, to a writer who is persecuted, threatened or in danger of imprisonment as a result of their work. The Tunisian journalist and writer, Sihem Bensedrine, Zimbabwean journalist, Rhoda Mashavve, and Berber language poet and novelist, Salem Zenia have all previously benefitted from the programme.
This Palestinian writer arrived in Catalonia on 28th June from the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza, to spend a two-year period in Barcelona. An-Nabrís came to Barcelona thanks to the Writers In Refuge Programme, promoted by Catalan PEN with the support of the Institute of Catalan Literature (Institució de les Lletres Catalanes), the Department for Solidarity and Cooperation of Barcelona’s Town Council (Àrea de Solidaritat i Cooperació de l’Ajuntament de Barcelona) and the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, which aims to provide shelter to writers who are threatened or persecuted across the world as a result of their work, to enable these writers to develop their work with total freedom and allow interaction with writers, intellectuals and cultural agents in the country.
Basem AlNabriss, one of the most exemplary Palestinian poets of his generation, has seen both his personal freedom and his freedom of expression attacked by Hamas fundamentalists, who went so far as to bomb his family home and continue to pursue him for refusing to be silenced and continuing to express his criticism of the regime in articles published in an Arabic online newspaper. In spite of this, an-Nabrís has publicly declared that, although Hamas wants to silence him, and wants the experience of Palestinian writers to be one of tragedy, the repression to which they are subjected gives them the strength to continue writing. He arrived in Barcelona without his family, however the recompense is, according to the writer’s own testimony, is being able to write in freedom.
At present, Basem AlNabriss continues to live in Barcelona and collaborate with Catalan PEN.