Last June, a journalist phoned Ibrahim Nasrallah and asked him how it felt to face a host of charges concerning national security. It was the Jordanian-Palestinian writer’s first warning that he was facing prosecution.
“I was completely shocked,” he says. “I did not know how to respond. All I could think of at that moment was that I needed to finish the book I was working on before things got worse. But I was unable to continue writing. I was confused and angry and also afraid.”
The charges related to his fourth collection of poetry, Nu’man Yastariddu Lawnahu (Anemone Regains Its Colour). These highly figurative poems, first published in 1984, were suddenly banned, while the poet himself faced charges of insulting the state, inciting dissension and reporting inaccurate information to future generations.