(Aḥmad al-Za’tar: the ethical model of the fidā’ī and its literary consecration in the verses of Maḥmūd Darwīš)
in La rivista di Arablit, a. X, n. 19, giugno 2020, pp. 79-94.
The Palestinian cultural heritage resurgence began simultaneously with the Zionist project for a Jewish state in the Holy Land. Arab-Palestinian elites strived to redefine their collective identity to ward off this danger, but the Arab-Israeli war of 1947-1948 resulted in a diaspora of Palestinian society: over 900,000 people were forced into exile, sowing the seeds for new geographies, narratives and identities. An armed resistance movement in Lebanon created a new sense of belonging: between 1969 and 1982, the Palestinian guerrilla movement fueled the dream of an Arab world free from colonialism. The fidā’ī – the Palestinian resistance fighter – became the symbol of a collective transnational identity. This paper provides insights into the aforementioned historical junctures, in order to examine the poem Aḥmad al-Za‘tar, by Maḥmūd Darwīš, which corresponds to a literary consecration of the ethical paradigm that the fidā’ī epitomized in those years.
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