Palestinian poet and journalist Mazen Maarouf recently arrived in Reykjavík on behalf of ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network). Iceland’s capital is now one of approximately 50 cities who provide temporary shelter to persecuted writers.
Reykjavík harbor. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
Maarouf is a Palestinian refugee born in Lebanon. His parents were made to leave an area which is now part of Israel in 1948 and are stateless, ruv.is reports.
Maarouf worked as a literary and theatre critic and also wrote about social affairs. As a pacifist, he criticized those who kill for a free Palestine. After he covered the murder of journalists in his writing for a dance group he began to fear for his life.
He is now working on a book which he intends to write in Iceland and is also working towards cultural exchange between Iceland and the Arab world, promoting Icelandic literature in his home region. “It’s the least I can do,” he said.