Mahmoud Darwish

Mahmoud Darwish was born in 1942 in the village of al-Birweh in Galilee, Palestine. His family fled to Lebanon in 1948 when the Israeli Army destroyed their village, returning secretly to the newly created state of Israel after a year. From 1970 to 1996 he lived in Moscow, Cairo, Beirut, Cyprus, and Paris, finally settling in Ramallah. A member of the PLO’s Executive Council, he wrote the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence, subsequently resigning in opposition to the Oslo accords. His many honors include the Lenin Peace Prize, the Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, the French medal for Knight of Arts and Letters, and the Prinz Claus Award from the Netherlands. He published over twenty books of poetry before his death in 2008. Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American, physician and member of Doctors Without Borders. His first collection of poetry, The Earth in the Attic, won the 2007 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. He was awarded the 2008 Saif Ghobash–Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for his translation of The Butterfly’s Burden.