Anniversary of Palestinian poet Darwish’s Death
Thursday marked the fourth commemoration of the departure of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, considered one of the most prominent Palestinian and Arab poets whose name was linked to revolutionary and nationalistic poetry.
His poems became songs for Arab and Palestinian singers like Marcel Khalifeh, Ahmed Qabour, Bashar Zerqan, Majeda Al-Roumi and George Qermez, in addition to the accompanying music for his poems by the Jibran band.
Darwish had unique contributions to the development of modern Arabic poetry and adding symbolism to it. He sold more than a million copies of his poetry collections in 1977 during the Lebanese Civil War.
Darwish joined the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Cairo and Lebanon where he worked in publishing and studies organisations affiliated with the PLO. He lived in Beirut between 1973 and 1982 to become the director of the PLO studies centre. He later founded Al-Karmel Magazine in 1981 and worked as president of the Union of Palestinian Writers and Journalists.
Following the Israeli invasion of Beirut, Darwish left in 1982 to move between Syria, Cyprus, Cairo, Tunisia and Paris where he stayed until his return to Palestine.
The Palestinian poet died in the US on Saturday 9th of August 2008, following open heart surgery which caused a coma and he passed away.
Head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmud Abbas declared mourning for three days across the Palestinian lands for the loss of Darwish, who was buried in Ramallah on the 13th of August. Thousands of Palestinians joined the funeral where he was buried near the Ramallah cultural centre, which was later named Mahmoud Darwish cultural centre.
Among the main collections he authored is Ashiq men Falastin (A Lover from Palestine), Ahd Ashr Kawkaban (Eleven Planets), Halet Hesar (A State of Siege), Kazahr El-Lawz Aw Abaad (Like an Almond Blossom or Further), and Athar Al-Farasha (or Butterfly Effect)
On their side, Fatah confirmed on the fourth anniversary of Darwish’s departure that there was a Palestinian consensus around this grand poetic figure.
“One of the special features of Darwish is that we as Palestinians differed in our national choices, but we did not disagree on Darwish.”
The movement said in a statement issued by the Mobilisation and Organisation Department that "although Darwish is gone, his poems do not disappear from our memory. He moved inside us between the hidden tunnels of politics and revolution, talked to us about the village, the sea, the sky, the mother and the lover, coffee, dice, and horses. Inside our hearts he panted with his words the love of our homeland and loyalty to it. Yes, Darwish has gone but our people will remember his fireball of words which fueled Arab hearts with enthusiasm and filled the occupiers’ hearts with fear"
"the departed major poet spent the years of his life defending the national progressive culture of our people in the face of attempts to obliterate the Palestinian culture and identity. Despite his obvious siding and long struggle for the embodiment of the identity of his people and their right to freedom and independence, his deep humanity owned the earth, its dimensions remained the link between Darwish the loyal Palestinian, and Darwish the modern, human poet."