Mahmoud Darwish - Political Activists, Timeline and Childhood

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Mahmoud Darwish's Personal Details

Mahmoud Darwish was a Palestinian poet and one of the leading artists of the Arab world who gave voice to the struggles of his people

InformationDetail
BirthdayMarch 13, 1941
Died onAugust 9, 2008
NationalityPalestinian
FamousActivists, Political Activists, Poets
Known asMaḥmūd Darwīsh
Universities
  • Moscow State University
Birth PlaceAl-Birwa
ReligionIslam
GenderMale
Sun SignPisces
Born inAl-Birwa
Famous asPoet
Died at Age67

// Famous Political Activists

Mahmoud Darwish's photo

Who is Mahmoud Darwish?

Mahmoud Darwish was a Palestinian poet and one of the leading artists of the Arab world who gave voice to the struggles of his people. He received international acclaim for his poetry which mostly focused on the strong affection for a lost homeland. Born to a family of landowners, his family fled to Lebanon upon the establishment of Israel and stayed there for a year, before secretly re-entering Israel and settling down. After completing his secondary education, he began publishing poetry and articles for newspapers and magazines, later serving as their editor. After that, he moved to Cairo and Beirut, where he worked in the research and publishing institutes of the PLO, from which he resigned following the Oslo Accords. His poetry became much sophisticated over the years and he gained international fame. One of the central themes of his poetry was the concept of homeland and his poetry was characterized by the honesty of his emotions and the novelty of his poetic images. In his long and flourishing career, he published around 30 collections of poetry and prose, which were translated into more than two dozen languages. His poems received positive response throughout the Arab world, and several of them were put to music. He earned numerous awards for his marvelous literary works, and the honor of being the Palestinian national poet was bestowed upon him.

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Childhood & Early Life

Mahmoud Darwish was born on March 13, 1941, in the village of al-Birwa in the Western Galilee, to Salim, and his wife, Houreyyah Darwish. He was the second of the eight children of his parents.

In 1948, his family fled to Lebanon after Israeli forces assaulted his village of al-Birwa. A year later, the family returned to the Acre area, which was now part of Israel, and settled in Deir al-Asad.

He received his early education from a high school in Kafr Yasif, two kilometers north of Jadeidi, and later moved to Haifa.

At the age of 19, he published his first book of poetry, ‘Asafir bila ajniha’ or ‘Wingless Birds’. Initially, he published his poems in ‘Al Jadid’, the literary periodical of the Israeli Communist Party, later serving as its editor.

Career

Mahmoud Darwish became an assistant editor of ‘Al Fajr’, a literary periodical published by the Israeli Workers Party. During the 1960s he was a member of Rakah, the Israeli communist party, and later joined the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Beirut.

In 1970, he left Israel to study in the USSR. He studied at the University of Moscow for one year before moving to Egypt and Lebanon.

In 1971, he moved to Cairo where he worked for ‘al-Ahram’, a daily newspaper.

In 1973, he edited the monthly ‘Shu'un Filistiniyya’ in Beirut and worked as director in the Palestinian Research Center of the PLO. When he joined the PLO, he was banned from reentering Israel.

During the difficult times of the Lebanon War, he wrote political poems such as ‘Qasidat Bayrut’ (1982) and ‘Madih al-zill al'ali’ (1983).

In 1987, he was elected to the PLO Executive Committee, a post he served in for the next six years. He resigned from the post following the Oslo accords, in 1993.

Mahmoud Darwish published over 30 volumes of poetry and eight books of prose. Some of his poetry collections include ‘The Music of Human Flesh’ ‘Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone?’, Psalms’, ‘The Adam of Two Edens’, ‘Stage of Siege’, and ‘The Butterfly’s Burden’.

Many of his poems were set to music by Arab composers which served as anthems for at least two generations of Arabs.. These include: ‘Rita and the Rifle’, ‘Birds of Galilee’ and ‘I Yearn for my Mother's Bread’

Major Works

In 1998, Mahmoud Darwish published his first collection of love poems titled ‘Sareer el Ghariba (Bed of the Stranger)’.

In 2000, Mahmoud Darwish published ‘Jidariyya’ (Mural), a book about his near death experience. It depicts his encounter with death following a heart surgery in 1998.

Awards & Achievements

In 1969, he received ‘The Lotus Prize’ from the Union of Afro-Asian Writers.

In 1983, Mahmoud Darwish was awarded the ‘Lenin Peace Prize’ by the USSR.

In 1993, he was conferred with the title of ‘The Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’ by France.

In 2001, he was presented with ‘The Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultural Freedom’.

In 2004, he became the winner of ‘Prince Claus Awards’.

In 2007, he won the ‘Golden Wreath of Struga Poetry Evenings’ and ‘The International Forum for Arabic Poetry prize’.

Personal Life & Legacy

Mahmoud Darwish was first married to Rana Kabbani, a writer, whom he later divorced. Later, in the mid-1980s, he married Hayat Heeni, an Egyptian translator. He had no children from either marriage.

He had a history of heart problems and suffered a cardiac arrest in 1984. He underwent two heart operations, in 1984 and 1998.

Mahmoud Darwish died on August 9, 2008, three days after yet another heart surgery in Houston, Texas. He was 67 years old. His body was buried at Ramallah's Palace of Culture.

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Mahmoud Darwish awards

YearNameAward

Other

The Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultural Freedom - 2001
Prince Claus Awards - 2004
The Lotus Prize - 1969-from the Union of Afro-Asian Writers
Lenin Peace Prize - 1983-from the USSR
The Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters - 1993-from France

Mahmoud Darwish biography timelines

  • // 13th Mar 1941
    Mahmoud Darwish was born on March 13, 1941, in the village of al-Birwa in the Western Galilee, to Salim, and his wife, Houreyyah Darwish. He was the second of the eight children of his parents.
  • // 1948
    In 1948, his family fled to Lebanon after Israeli forces assaulted his village of al-Birwa. A year later, the family returned to the Acre area, which was now part of Israel, and settled in Deir al-Asad.
  • // 1969
    In 1969, he received ‘The Lotus Prize’ from the Union of Afro-Asian Writers.
  • // 1970
    In 1970, he left Israel to study in the USSR. He studied at the University of Moscow for one year before moving to Egypt and Lebanon.
  • // 1971
    In 1971, he moved to Cairo where he worked for ‘al-Ahram’, a daily newspaper.
  • // 1973
    In 1973, he edited the monthly ‘Shu'un Filistiniyya’ in Beirut and worked as director in the Palestinian Research Center of the PLO. When he joined the PLO, he was banned from reentering Israel.
  • // 1982 To 1983
    During the difficult times of the Lebanon War, he wrote political poems such as ‘Qasidat Bayrut’ (1982) and ‘Madih al-zill al'ali’ (1983).
  • // 1983
    In 1983, Mahmoud Darwish was awarded the ‘Lenin Peace Prize’ by the USSR.
  • // 1984 To 1998
    He had a history of heart problems and suffered a cardiac arrest in 1984. He underwent two heart operations, in 1984 and 1998.
  • // 1987 To 1993
    In 1987, he was elected to the PLO Executive Committee, a post he served in for the next six years. He resigned from the post following the Oslo accords, in 1993.
  • // 1993
    In 1993, he was conferred with the title of ‘The Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’ by France.
  • // 1998
    In 1998, Mahmoud Darwish published his first collection of love poems titled ‘Sareer el Ghariba (Bed of the Stranger)’.
  • // 1998 To 2000
    In 2000, Mahmoud Darwish published ‘Jidariyya’ (Mural), a book about his near death experience. It depicts his encounter with death following a heart surgery in 1998.
  • // 2001
    In 2001, he was presented with ‘The Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultural Freedom’.
  • // 2004
    In 2004, he became the winner of ‘Prince Claus Awards’.
  • // 2007
    In 2007, he won the ‘Golden Wreath of Struga Poetry Evenings’ and ‘The International Forum for Arabic Poetry prize’.
  • // 9th Aug 2008
    Mahmoud Darwish died on August 9, 2008, three days after yet another heart surgery in Houston, Texas. He was 67 years old. His body was buried at Ramallah's Palace of Culture.

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Mahmoud Darwish's FAQ

  • What is Mahmoud Darwish birthday?

    Mahmoud Darwish was born at 1941-03-13

  • When was Mahmoud Darwish died?

    Mahmoud Darwish was died at 2008-08-09

  • Where was Mahmoud Darwish died?

    Mahmoud Darwish was died in Houston

  • Which age was Mahmoud Darwish died?

    Mahmoud Darwish was died at age 67

  • Where is Mahmoud Darwish's birth place?

    Mahmoud Darwish was born in Al-Birwa

  • What is Mahmoud Darwish nationalities?

    Mahmoud Darwish's nationalities is Palestinian

  • What was Mahmoud Darwish universities?

    Mahmoud Darwish studied at Moscow State University

  • What is Mahmoud Darwish's religion?

    Mahmoud Darwish's religion is Islam

  • What is Mahmoud Darwish's sun sign?

    Mahmoud Darwish is Pisces

  • How famous is Mahmoud Darwish?

    Mahmoud Darwish is famouse as Poet