The massacre that took place on 29th October 1956 in Kufr Qasem was not the only massacre Palestinians have experienced in their long and painful history. Unlike the massacres that are associated with the Nakba, it was perpetrated after the Israeli state was established. It was deliberate, planned, calculated, a cold blooded murder against workers returning from their fields not having heard that a curfew was imposed over their village. After the massacre, Kafr Qasem was subjected to military cordon and media prohibition, which imposed debilitating isolation after the massacre. No one was allowed in or out of the village and a tight gag order was placed on the news. Twenty-two days after the massacre, news finally reached the world.
As a visual artist, Samia Halaby always set herself high standards. She has aspired to ‘do the most advanced painting possible.’ But this was not the full extent of her ambition. Her credo, so eloquently expressed there, is that she also wanted through her art to “support the ambition of Palestinian liberation.” The evocative drawings in this book document the atrocities of Kafr Qasem. To capture these events on paper she gathered data in every form possible: oral testimonials, photographs, media reports, anything she could lay her hands on. Not only did she carry out archival research, she also managed to meet with survivors and conduct face to face interviews and field visits. These testaments are also included in the book.