Al-Ma'arri the Poet

The Museum of Lost Objects traces the histories of 10 antiquities or cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria.

In 2013, Islamic militants decapitated the statue of an 11th Century Arabic poet that stood in his hometown of Maarat al-Nu'man, a city that's seen heavy fighting during the Syrian conflict. The poet al-Ma'arri was one of the most revered in Syria, and poetry enthusiasts tell his story - he was blind, vegetarian, atheist, and some even claim that his work inspired Dante's Divine Comedy.

Contributors: Nasser Rabbat, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Mahmoud al-Sheikh, BBC Arabic; the reading is by Susan Jameson

Presenter: Kanishk Tharoor
Producer: Maryam Maruf

Picture: Statue of al-Ma'arri with the sculptor Fathi Mohammed in the 1940s, and the statue after its decapitation in 2013.

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12 minutes

Last on

Tue 8 Mar 2016 12:04

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About presenter Kanishk Tharoor...

Kanishk Tharoor

Revealing the treasures of the Museum of Lost Objects