Learning English - Words in the News
13 August, 2008 - Published 13:53 GMT
Last farewells to Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish
Tens of thousands of Palestinians are lining the streets of Ramallah on the West Bank for the funeral of poet Mahmoud Darwish, one of the most influential cultural figures in recent Arab history. This report from Aleem Maqbool:
Palestinians will be burying a national icon, a man whose work was often based on his experiences of life in exile and under occupation that resonated with many. Over the decades, he was instrumental in forging a sense of Palestinian national identity. People of all backgrounds here feel they had a personal connection to Mahmoud Darwish, and pride in a man who told their story in a way they weren't able to.
Thousands would flock to his recitals, his poems were transformed into popular songs and used in political speeches, and the words he wrote now form part of Palestinian daily life.
But he wasn't shy of talking of his people's shortcomings. He had written fierce criticism of the divisions among Palestinians, believing, in some ways, what they were doing to themselves was worse than anything others had done to them.
There's little doubt his work, not just on the Palestinian cause, but on love and hope and death, will endure across the Arab world.
Aleem Maqbool, BBC News, Ramallah
a national icon
he was instrumental in forging
of all backgrounds
flock to his recitals
he wasn't shy of talking
fierce criticism of the divisions among Palestinians
To take away:
Download or print (21 K)