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Mahmoud Saleem Hussein Darwish

(13 March, 1941- 9 August, 2008)

 

 

Mahmoud Darwish, the second child of Houriyya and Saleem Darwish, was born in Al-Birweh village in the Galilee on 13 March, 1941.


- 1948 He and his family were forced to immigrate to South Lebanon.


- 1949 He returned to his homeland with his family, to find his village demolished and occupied by an Israeli settlement. The family then relocated to the village of Deir al Asad in the Galilee.


- After finishing high school, Darwish moved to the city of Haifa.


- He joined the Israeli Communist Party and worked at the party's daily newspaper, AL-Itihad, and its weekly Al-Jadid, and later became its editor- in- chief.


- For 10 years, the I sraeli Authorities imposed a travel ban on Darwish prohibiting him from leaving Haifa, and placed him under house arrest several times between the years 1967 and 1970. During that time he was under constant surveillance and was arrested 5 times: in 1961, 1965, 1966, 1967, and 1969.


-1970 He moved to Cairo and worked at Al-Ahram Egyptian newspaper.


-1973 He moved to Beirut and became the editor-in-chief of the Palestine Affairs magazine, published by the Palestine Research Center. He later became the general director of the center.


-1981 He founded Al-Carmel Literary journal.


- 1982 He left Beirut in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.


- 1987 He was elected the chairman of the Palestinian writers and Journalists Union.


-1987 He was elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.


-1988 He drafted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence which was ratified at the 19thsession of the Palestine National Council.


- 1996 He returned to Ramallah and continued publishing Al-Carmel from there.


On Saturday, 9 August 2008 Mahmoud Darwish passed away following heart surgery at a hospital in Houston, in the USA. Mahmoud Darwish left a rich legacy and a large body of literary works, primarily in the fields of poetry (twenty six volumes) and of prose (eleven volumes), most of which have been translated to over twenty two languages. He was recognized and acclaimed as Palestinian poet laureate and was celebrated and honored locally, regionally, and internationally, receiving numerous prestigious awards, medals and citations.

 

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