Renowned Palestinian artist Kamal Boullata buried in Jerusalem next to his family and ancestors. (Credit: Negotiations Affairs Department)
JERUSALEM, Monday, August 19, 2019 (WAFA) - After decades of living in exile, renowned Palestinian artist and writer Kamal Boullata, who died in Berlin last week at age 77, finally returned to his birth town, Jerusalem, to be buried next to his family and ancestors. He was barred from living in Jerusalem, his hometown, since the start of the Israeli occupation in 1967.
Boullata‘s family, which lives in Jerusalem, and lawyer had to fight hard to get an Israeli approval to bring the body of their son from Berlin to be buried in the city he was born in. He was buried today at the cemetery of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem at Mt. Zion just outside the wall of the Old City.
Kamal was born in Jerusalem in 1942 and grew up in the Old City. His family traces its history in the Old City for over 600 years, according to the Records of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem.
For half a century, since 1967, he was barred from Jerusalem because he happened to be out of the country, for an exhibit in Beirut in 1967 when the Israeli occupation started. All his efforts to return to Jerusalem failed, except for a brief visit in 1984 which was memorialized in the film “Stranger at Home”. However, Jerusalem always stayed in his heart, and in his art.
"The right of every Palestinian to return to his homeland is a sacred right. It is particularly important for Jerusalemites, for whom the Holy City is part of their lives and essence. It is sad that so many are denied this right, but it is a bitter satisfaction when someone of his stature and world-known respect is finally allowed his last wish. May he rest in peace, and may his memory be forever," said his family in a statement.