‘Palestine + 100’: To forget is a sin in these futuristic tales

‘Palestine + 100’: To forget is a sin in these futuristic tales
From virtual reality to extraterrestrial visitors, twelve authors explore what a free Palestine would look like. (Supplied)
Updated 04 November 2019

‘Palestine + 100’: To forget is a sin in these futuristic tales

‘Palestine + 100’: To forget is a sin in these futuristic tales

CHICAGO: The year is 2048 in “Palestine + 100: Stories From a Century After the Nakba” edited by Basma Ghalayini. Twelve authors present their version of Palestine, where bananas grow on the slopes of Ramallah, pineapples flourish in Samaria and where virtual reality seamlessly overlays a desolate life.

Palestinian refugees are “like nomads traveling across a landscape of memory,” writes Ghalayini in her introduction. In 1948, the Nakba saw scores of Palestinian villages and cities destroyed and more than 700,000 Palestinians expelled from their land. As of 2003, it was estimated that 9.6 million descendants lived outside of Palestine and so when Ghalayini writes that for Palestinians “writing is, in part, a search of their lost inheritance, as well as an attempt to keep the memory of that loss from fading,” it is a powerful expression of how storytelling is a tool for preservation.

From virtual reality to extraterrestrial visitors, the twelve authors explore what a free Palestine would look like, or at least the illusion of freedom at the height of digital innovation. Salem Haddad, Majd Kayal, Emad El-Din Aysha, and Abdalmuti Maqbool create parallel words, pushing technological and societal boundaries, where history can be altered, government can be formed virtually and the past can be lived and relived through alternate narratives, but not without a cost.

From Mazen Maarouf comes a superhero and Selma Dabbagh tells of a desperate woman who must sell her kidney for a job. Between Anwar Hamed’s ghosts and Tasnim Abutabikh’s story of a mistaken enemy, each author turns the idea of freedom on its head, questioning the idea of freedom itself. From Rawan Yaghi comes a story of desolate landscapes in which oxygen is in short supply and sedatives are in high demand, and from Samir El-Youssef a story where the study of history is forbidden. Narratives are pushed as Ahmed Masoud explores the possibility of hosting international competitions and Talal Abu Shawish forces communities together when presented with an outside threat.

The story-tellers themselves have a range of perspectives that span over 40 years, from the oldest author in his sixties to the youngest in her twenties. Some have lived in Palestine while others have lived in Palestine through their parents’ or grandparents’ memories. As Samir El-Youssef writes in his short story, “in a country like this, to forget is a sin.”


James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ delayed again amid pandemic

James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ delayed again amid pandemic
Updated 22 January 2021

James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ delayed again amid pandemic

James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ delayed again amid pandemic

LOS ANGELES: The global release of the James Bond movie “No Time to Die” was postponed to October from April, its producers said on Thursday, another setback for movie theaters trying to rebuild a business crushed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The movie’s new debut date is Oct. 8, according to an announcement on the James Bond website and Twitter feed.

“No Time to Die,” from MGM and Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures, had originally been set to hit the big screen in April 2020 before moving to November 2020 and then April 2021.

The film, which cost an estimated $200 million to produce, marks actor Daniel Craig’s last outing as agent 007.

Cinema owners were hoping “No Time to Die” would kick off a rebound in moviegoing.

The pandemic devastated the film business in 2020, and ticket sales in the United States and Canada sunk 80%. That hurt independent theaters and big chains including AMC Entertainment, Cineworld Plc and Cinemark Holdings Inc.

With the virus still rampant in many areas, including in the key Los Angeles market, Hollywood studios appear reluctant to send their biggest films to theaters. Many cinemas are closed, and ones that are open enforce strict attendance limits to allow for social distancing.

The Bond franchise is one of the movie world's most lucrative, with 2015’s “Spectre” raking in $880 million at the box office worldwide, while “Skyfall” in 2012 grossed more than $1 billion globally.

The next closely watched movie is “Black Widow” from Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios, currently scheduled to debut in theaters on May 7.