Bookmark and Share

Open the online Arabic language course

Index / Art and Culture /
Mahmoud Darwish
Arabic: mahmūd darwish

Mahmoud Darwish.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Mahmoud Darwish.

Recital example
Poetry recital
Bird without wings 1961
Lover from Palestine 1964
Olive leaves 1964
Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone? 1994

(1941-2008) Palestinian poet, often referred to as the Palestinian national poet.
Internationally recognized for his poetry of strong affaction for a lost homeland. Darwish has become the main voice for the Palestinian struggle for independence. His poetry is simple in terms of style and vocabulary, but uses everyday words for strong and effective expressions and intense feelings.
A central image to his early poetry has been the resistant hero, who never gives in and keeps up the fight in a struggle for freedom and independence for the Palestinian people.
But with the disappointment he and all other Palestinians experienced from the expulsion of the PLO from Beirut in 1982, his orientation shifted, and became more oriented towards the reality of powerlessness which even the resilient hero can exhibit. What his poetry then reflected was the importance of international politics.

1941: Born into a landowning Sunni Muslim family, in the village of Barwa near Akko, Palestine.
1948: Darwish' family feels forced to leave their home town after it is declared part of the new state of Israel.
1949: Darwish' family returns to what now is Israel, settling in the village of Dayr al-Assad.
1970: After one year at a university in Moscow, USSR, Darwish decides not to return to Israel, and installs himself in Cairo, Egypt, instead.
1972: Darwish moves to Beirut, Lebanon, where he starts working for the PLO, as editor of the monthly Shu'un Filistiniyya, Palestinian Affairs.
1975: Is appointed director of the PLO Research Centre.
1982: As PLO is expelled from Beirut, following the Israeli invasion, Darwish settles on Cyprus.
— Receives the Ibn Sina Prize.
1983: Receives the Lenin Peace Prize.
1987: Darwish is elected to the PLO executive.
1993: In opposition to the Oslo Agreement, he resignes from the executive.
1996: Darwish moves to, and settles in Ramallah.
2008 August 8: Dies in Houston, Texas, USA from complications following heart surgery. He was buried in Ramallah, a shrine was ordered to be built over his grave.

By Tore Kjeilen