The Palestinian narrative is too often recounted – and distorted – and not by the actors of the story themselves. 

With the bombing of our cultural centres and the confiscation of our land, to the appropriation of our hummus, the Israeli occupation is making every effort to efface us not only from the map, but also from history. 

But a land without a people, for a people without a land, we are not. Advocating and preserving our culture, heritage and history – while also triggering awareness and altering Western perceptions of the Middle East – is essential, and it is the collective moral duty of all Palestinians. 

Over the years, I have written on Palestinian culture and the arts for several Middle Eastern and Palestinian publications, and now I have the honour of editing the work of esteemed Palestinian writers and journalists, all with the same universally-shared intention. 

Now, with the proliferation of social media as an avenue for delivering current news globally, transcending and reaching all strata of society, we have a form of direct action. Through words we can achieve dialogue, and through dialogue we can achieve understanding.

The late Yasser Arafat used to say, “The Palestinian National Movement is not only the gun of the freedom fighter, but also the pen of the writer, the brush of the painter, the words of the poet.” 

Now that the Palestinians have abandoned the dialogue by arms and resort to the arms of dialogue, there is now more than ever a need for Palestinians to find a means to chronicle our history and struggle as a vehicle for resistance against negation and extinction; through self-narration, self-definition and self-representation.