Monday, August 11, 2008

Voice of Palestine Silenced

Darwish, poet of the Palestinian cause, dies after surgery
By Mohammed Assadi in Ramallah
Monday, 11 August 2008

Mahmoud Darwish, whose poetry encapsulated the Palestinian cause, is to get the equivalent of a state funeral in the West Bank following his death this weekend – an honour only previously accorded to the PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Tributes for Darwish poured in yesterday, a day after he died, at the age of 67, from complications following heart surgery in a hospital in Houston, Texas.

"He translated the pain of the Palestinians in a magical way," said Egypt's vernacular poet Ahmed Fouad Negm. "He made us cry and made us happy and shook our emotions. Apart from being the poet of the Palestinian wound, which is hurting all Arabs and all honest people in the world, he is a master poet."

Darwish's funeral in Ramallah tomorrow will be the first sponsored by the Palestinian Authority since Arafat died in 2004. The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of national mourning. People gathered on Saturday night in the darkened streets of Ramallah, holding candles and weeping.

May he rest in peace. And, may his people find peace and freedom.