Ashrawi outraged at book ban

7 March 2007 at 11:33 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

“Outrageous” is how independent Palestinian human rights activist Dr Hanan Ashrawi described the Hamas-run Education Ministry’s deicision to ban an anthology of Palestinian folklores.

The 400-page tome was ordered to be removed from all school libraries and burned because, according to the Education Ministry, it is “full of clear sexual expressions”.

Sharif Kanaana, a novelist and anthropology professor at the West Bank’s Bir Zeit University, believed the book – which he helped put together – was banned because it mentions genitals. In their notes, the authors explain that the bird in the story is a symbol of femininity adding that the use of sexual subjects in Palestinian folklore is a principal source of humor.

“If this is what is to come, it is extremely alarming,” Associated Press quoted Dr Ashrawi as saying.

The independent lawmaker, former Cabinet minister and 2003 Sydney Peace Prize recipeinet has called for creation of an independent body to deal with issues related to arts and education.

She said:”Education and culture and social issues should not be handled by anybody that has a closed, ideological, doctrinal attitude. It should be in the hands of professionals.”


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