Nicola Ziadeh (1907–2006) and Anis Sayigh (1931–2009) were ubiquitousPalestinian public intellectuals of the second half of the twentieth century, whose voices could be heard on the Arab world’s major broadcasting networks, whose pens defined or shaped the columns of its press, and who devoted a lifetime to building the institutional pillars of Palestinian culture and, in equal measure, the Arab national project. They became fixtures of the Beiruti public sphere – at a time when Egypt, long the throbbing heart of the Nahda, was demanding that its intellectuals serve the Nasseritestate – and of Palestinian resistance that came into its fold. They also bore witness to Lebanon’s sectarian polarisation as it unravelled around the Palestinian Catastrophe: the Nakba, and the formidable societal, political and economic challenges it generated, found in post-Mandate Lebanon one of its major refugee harbours, and in Beirut the resources to channel its narratives. Young graduates of Palestine’s prize educational establishments converged there, often after completing doctoral studies in Europe, the United States or the Arab World. Many found employment at the AmericanUniversity of Beirut (AUB) or, after 1964, at the Beirut-headquartered cultural and political institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Hamzah, Dyala (2021). “Mandated Memory : The schooling of Palestine in Anis Sayigh’s and Nicola Ziadeh’s Recollections,” in Diana Allan (ed.), The Voices of the Nakba: A Living History of Palestine, London: Pluto Press, 82-96.