CILAS & TPHHS presents Poets of Partition: South Asia and Palestine
(This event has passed)

Jun 2, 2015 5:00–7:00pm
Organized by: CILAS - Cairo Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Venue: CILAS - Cairo Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Address: 2nd. Floor, 10 Darab El-Labbana st., al-Khalifa. in front of Al-Refai mosque, Cairo, Egypt

CILAS & TPHHS presents Poets of Partition: South Asia and Palestine

We invite you to an evening of poetry in collaboration with Theory and Practice in the Humanities and Social Sciences workshop series (TPHHS), the American University in Cairo. We will be reading and bringing together the poetic traditions of partition from Palestine, Bengal, Punjab, Kashmir and Sindh. 

As the experience of partition is universal. How do we cope with and interpret our partitioned past? In a gamut of languages, South Asian writers have tried to make sense of the madness, the violence and the grief of artificial borders. Join us as we weave these literary traditions in a conversation by reading works of Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Saadat Hasan Manto, Amrita Pritam and Faiz Ahmed Faiz along with the writings of Palestinian poet Jehan Bseiso.

The greatest recognition of the universality of this experience of partition can be found in this poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, which he wrote in Beirut in 1980, dedicated to those Palestinians martyred in foreign lands…

Wherever I went, sweet earth of Palestine,
Carrying in my heart the burning scars of your humiliation
Nursing in my heart the embers of your longing
To make you proud
Your love,your memories went with me
The fragrance of your orange groves went with me
A crowd of unseen friends stood by me
And so many hands clasped mine
In the dark lanes of distant lands
In the unnamed streets of alien cities
Wherever I unfurl
The banner of my blood,
There flutters the flag of Palestine.
One Palestine has been destroyed By my enemies
But my agony has given birth
To Innumerable Palestines.

We will be joined by Jehan Beiseso, activist and poet based in Cairo (, Ananya Chakravarti, Assistant Professor-Dept. of History, AUC and Ayesha Mualla, Fellow-CILAS. 'Poets of Partition' is being organised in collaboration with Theory and Practice History Workshops of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, AUC. 

Kindly note that we can accommodate only 20 people for this event on our terrace. You are therefore requested to sign up for this workshop. Please indicate your number and your name on the event's page/wall. 

How to get here: The event begins at 18:00 hrs sharp and the doors will be closed at 18:15 hrs. To get to CILAS walk through Al-Ghuria gate (connecting Al-Ghuri mosque and Al-Ghuri madrassa) on the right hand-side coming down Kobri Al-Azhar (Al-Azhar bridge). Take your first right behind the mosque and then take the first left into the market until the end of the 'blanket vendors' alley'. CILAS shares a building with the Center for Egyptian Civilization Studies.