The history of the Gaza Strip and Palestine was explored during a talk at Oxford Brookes University.

The Palestinian writer, director and academic, Ahmed Masoud, was the guest speaker on Wednesday night to host a talk on the ‘Voices of Resilience’.

He also looked into the origins of the Palestinian literary resistance during his time on campus.

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The writer is an ex-staff member at Oxford Brookes. He has gone on to become an author and write novels such as Come What May (2002) and Vanished (2015).

Mr Masoud grew up in the Gaza Strip, Palestine, and moved to the UK in 2002 to complete his PhD in English Literature.

This event was hosted by the Oxford Brookes Gaza Scholarship, which started in 2010 and aims to give students from Gaza a chance to fulfil their potential and initiate change that will have a positive impact on the world.

To quote Sir Iain Chalmers, one of the founders of this Oxford scholarship, the aim of this learning initiative was “to indicate to Palestinians in Gaza that they hadn’t been forgotten.”

The scholars who are part of the programme enriched the Brookes University community and are said to have been “wonderful ambassadors for Palestinians in Oxford”.

The scholarship has partnered with the British Council’s Higher Education Scholarships for Palestinians (HESPAL) scheme to ensure this initiative has a long-term future.

HESPAL has a well-established record of enabling Palestinian scholars to study in the UK, many of which are from Gaza.

thisisoxfordshire: Oxford Brookes where the talk was held Oxford Brookes where the talk was held Beginning the talk, Mr Masoud emphasised that he did not want the focus to be on the recent conflict taking place in Gaza, his main point from this was because “people know about Gaza through the lens of conflict and not through Gazan literature”.

The speaker covered the origin of key words, such as the term ‘gauze’ which is widely used across the world and is a loosely woven cloth used for surgical dressings.

The origin of the word comes from the term ‘Gaza’ because the fabric originated from Gaza, Palestine from the mi-16th century.

Mr Masoud also assessed the role of poetry, which holds an important role to Palestinian culture, and he encouraged the audience to look at the cultural production of the people of Palestine through poetry and novels.

The speaker described how Palestinian literature relied on resistance as it became the voice of revolution for the Palestinian people throughout their turbulent history.

thisisoxfordshire: A Palestine and Gaza talk was held at Oxford Brookes A Palestine and Gaza talk was held at Oxford Brookes (Image: Contributed)He also highlighted the three schools of literary movements that reunited the national cause for the Palestinians following from the 1948 war.

These were Marxism, Romanticism and Modernism, all of which initiated progression and modernisation for the Palestinian cause.

Mr Masoud explained these literary movements meant that Palestinian literature could be written more freely and did not have to be tied down to a specific ideology.