REFORM discusses the novel: “Blindness,” by a Portuguese author, Jose Saramago with the participation of many young men and young women activists from the governorates of Nablus, Qalqilya and Tubas.
The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development— REFORM implemented a cultural session to discuss the novel, “Blindness,” by a Portuguese author, Jose Saramago. This session was conducted online via the electronic App, ZOOM, which comes as part of the “Access Beyond Borders” project. Many young men and young women activists from the governorates of Nablus, Qalqilya and Tubas participated in the session.
A Sense of Belonging Strengthens the Need for Development
The project coordinator, Miss Fawzia Shelbayya, welcomed the attendees and explained the project’s aim: enhancing community participation of young men and young women. The young activists intensely discussed the novel together that focuses on intellectual blindness and some restrictions that make a person a prisoner of it. They further linked the themes in the novel to the deprivation, oppression and insecurity that they have experienced, all of which give way to the exercise of tyranny over society, just as the blind hoodlums practiced with those in the novel.
Additionally, the novel highlights the issues of trading valuables for food, which is considered as a right acquired for all and using the most heinous forms of moral and physical blackmail. When chaos reigns and any trace of the system disappears, the end justifies the means and instinct floats. When a person is led to his instincts, he/she becomes blind in a sensual, intellectual and moral sense. The novel also suggests that a sense of belonging is what strengthens the need for development. It further highlights the necessity of listening to people who have knowledge and experience. At the end of the meeting, the young men and young women participants stressed the necessity of fact-finding, living with difficult circumstances, feeling responsible and not submitting to only one idea.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
This session comes as part of the “Access Beyond Barriers” project which aims to enhance the social participation of marginalised groups in order to formulate public policies that are responsive to youth and women’s needs. The project also aims to enhance cooperation between youth groups and CBOs in Area C and in Palestinian refugee camps and to develop the internal procedures and practices of these associations in order to ensure good governance practices. Thus, social and cultural cohesion will be increased amongst the different social components and collective Palestinian identity will be promoted.