Laureate - 2007

Mahmoud Darwish



He was born in 1942 in the village of al-Birwa in Galilee. The most famous Palestinian died in the USA in 2008. He was imprisoned and put into house arrest for his political activity. He was editor of the magazine Itihad before he left in 1971 on one-year studies in the USSR. Then he goes to Egypt, in Cairo works for the magazine Al-Ahram, goes to Beirut,Lebanon, where he edits the magazine Palestinian Publications, and he was also a Director of the Palestinian Researches Centre. Until his retrieval in Palestina in 1996 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and lived in exile between Beirut and Paris. His poems are well-known to the whole Arab world, and to some of them music for singing has been composed. During the years his poetry gained international fame, so some of them – from the 30 published poetry books – have been translated in 35 languages. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of the prestigious literature magazine Al Carmel, re-established in 1997 by the Sakakini Centre, where he is an honorable member. His most famous poetry books are: Bed of a Stranger (1998), the narrative poem Mural (2000), State of Siege (2002). In 1997 a documentary was filmed for the French TV.