Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Today Marks Nizar Qabban's Death Anniv.

Mon 29 Apr 2024 | 11:27 PM
Ahmed Emam

Today (April 29) marks the death anniversary of Nizar Qabbani, fondly known as "The Sant of Poetry."

Qabbani was a Syrian poet who touched the hearts of many people with his simple and attractive style. He remained loyal to his progressive school of thought, despite being jailed for his beliefs.

He was born in Damascus to a middle-class merchant family and is well-known for his poems that explore themes of love, eroticism, feminism, religion, and Arab nationalism. Some of his collections of poems include Childhood of a Breast (1948), The Lover's Dictionary (1981), and I'm One Man and You are a Tribe of Women (1992).

Qabbani belonged to a group of poets who tried to revive romantic poetry during the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century. After graduating from law school, he joined the Syrian Foreign Ministry and served as a consul or cultural attaché in several capital cities, including Beirut, Cairo, Istanbul, Madrid, and London.

In 1959, Qabbani became Vice-Secretary of the UAR for its embassies in China. During this time, he wrote extensively, and his poems from China were some of his finest. He continued to work in diplomacy until he resigned in 1966.

Qabbani established a publishing house in Beirut, which carried his name. Although he did not achieve much popularity in his lifetime, his unique talent was realized after his death with the discovery of many of his manuscripts.

Critics now consider him the most notable poet of the Arab Romantic era, as he started writing Romantic poems at an early age. Many of his romantic poems were published in various literary magazines.

Qabbani's poems inspired a national pride in Arab nationhood, especially in the 1980s and during the civil war in Lebanon. He also wrote essays, short stories, and novels.

Qabbani married twice in his life. His first wife was his cousin, Zahra Aqbiq, and together they had a daughter, Hadba, and a son, Tawfiq. His second wife was an Iraqi woman named Balqis al-Rawi, who was killed in the 1981 Iraqi embassy bombing in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War on 15 December 1981.

Qabbani died on March 30, 1998, leaving behind an impressive body of work that continues to inspire readers around the world.