Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration

Many decades have passed since the Palestinian national movement began its political and military struggle. In that time, poignant memorials at massacre sites, a palimpsest of posters of young heroes and martyrs, sorrowful reminiscences about lost loved ones, and wistful images of young men and women who fought as guerrillas, have all flourished in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine tells the story of how dispossessed Palestinians have commemorated their past, and how through their dynamic everyday narrations, their nation has been made even without the institutional memory-making of a state. Laleh Khalili is a politics professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

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