Khaled Harara was born 1987 in Yemen. He is a renowned Palestinian hip-hop artist who has lived as a refugee in Gaza. His texts discuss the political situation in Palestine from a humanitarian and social perspective and criticise the lack of freedom of expression and the suffering in Palestine under the Hamas rule.
In Gaza, Khaled Harara organised workshops for youth, focusing on writing texts and on different ways of expressing oneself. The workshops were banned, just like his group “Palestinian Unit” and the artist organisation that he was a member of.
An “enemy of the state”
As a result of his artistic expression, and his participation as soldier of the PLO forces before Hamas took control of Gaza, Harara is considered an “enemy of the state”. More than once, he has been to prison, tortured and subject to rough interrogations, and several of his friends have been killed or injured in fights against the Hamas.
In fear of continuing reprisals, Khaled Harara stayed on in Denmark after participating in the festival “Rapolitics”. PEN International and ICORN recommended Khaled Harara as new ICORN guest writer in Gothenburg City of Refuge, where he can continue to work freely from his new safe haven.
We appreciate all assistance from those who have been engaged in the placement, among them Freemuse and Reporters without Borders.
About Gothenburg City of Refuge
The Swedish city Gothenburg has been host to persecuted writers since 1996. The ICORN programme is managed by Gothenburg Cultural Administration (Göteborgs Stads Kulturförvaltning). The Belarus writer Svetlana Aleksievitj is is among the many writers who have sought refuge in the city through ICORN since then.
Thomas Martinsson, spokesman for Kulturnämden says:
“To be a city of refuge for writers goes hand in hand with our strategic focus on literature and Gothenburgs work for human rights”
In the media
Gøteborg ger fristad at palestinsk musiker - interview with Harara on SVT.se
Göteborg först ta emot förföljd musiker i Sverige - Sveriges Radio
Gothenburg provides refuge for Palestinian rapper - Göteborg Daily
See also: Video interview with Khaled Harara on Freemuse.org