Nothing is politically neutral when it comes to publications: the language, of course, but also the aesthetic, the layout, the logo, etc. This is what Danah Abdulla shows us in this detailed examination of the canonical PFLP Bulletin, published from Beirut to construct international solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.
As cliché as it may sound coming from a Palestinian, when I launched my publication Kalimat in 2010, the desire to produce a magazine was inspired by Ghassan Kanafani and his work with al-Hadaf, the official weekly mouthpiece of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), launched in 1969. Ghassan Kanafani (1936-1972) was a prominent Palestinian writer and a spokesperson of the PFLP. His works addressed themes of exile, national struggle and uprootedness, and his short story Men in the Sun (1962) is considered to be one of the most famous pieces of Arabic fiction. He was assassinated alongside his niece Lamis in July 1972, in Beirut, by the Mossad.
Alongside al-Hadaf existed the PFLP Bulletin, an English-language monthly magazine published by the PFLP in the 1970s and 1980s. In some issues, the bulletin outlines its aims. These are:
• presenting the political line of the PFLP
• providing current information and analysis of the Palestinian liberation struggle, as well as developments in the Arab world and on the international level
• serving as a tool for building solidarity with progressive organizations, parties, national liberation movements and countries around the world