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Ghassan Zaqtan

Ghassan Zaqtan was born in 1954 near Bethlehem and lives in Ramallah. He has published several volumes of poetry and a novel, and his poetry has been translated in many journals and magazines. He has worked with the Palestinian resistance movement and was editor of Bayade, the literary magazine of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Currently, he is editor-in-chief of the quarterly poetry journal Al-Shou’ara.


The Image of the House in Bait Jala

He is compelled to return and close the window, confused about whether he should. Things are less clear since he lost her— a hole has opened inside him. Filling the hole exhausts him, as does straightening fences, wiping window-glass, clean [...]

Old Passages

Suspended in memory, only her fingers do not sleep, riding their own dreams beneath a dim light —while— a single bell rang, audible all the way to her house, a sound rising from the hills nearby, where the convent and the ruined buildi [...]


He doesn’t mean to replace everything, just to add a few things to the moment when she passed by. Move a few chairs or a curtain, amplify a sound. A tweak of the imagination— things of that sort, nothing more. So smaller things don’t [...]

He Was Not Asleep

There is a downtrodden woman in his dream, an introverted woman whose mind is occupied with simple thoughts and needless virtues. A woman who enters his room every time he falls asleep, and stares at his heart, directly at his heart, then tak [...]