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Reading: Celebrating the Life and Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish

Wed, September 24, 2008 6:30 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan for the Arts and Adalah-NY ( Present

A commemoration of the life and poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, the Palestinian poet who passed away on August 9th, at age 67, following open heart surgery.

WednesdaySeptember 24, 2008 at 6:30 PM
Free and Open to the Public
Food will be served


Readers / Speakers: Ammiel Alcalai, Moustafa Bayoumi, Steve Bloom, Tala Hadid, Mirene Ghossein, Omar Khalifa, Dina Mikdadi, Lili Murad, Noha Radwan, Ziad Rizk, Mariam Said.

Hadi Eldebek (Oud)
Tom Chess (Nay)

Darwish was born in the Upper Galilee in 1941. When his village, al-Birweh, was leveled by the Israeli army in 1948,he fled with his family to Lebanon. He lived "in exile" throughout his life, first in Lebanon, then in Russia,Egypt, Tunisia and France. Palestine, the land,the "beloved,"became a metaphorfor dispossession and exile.When he finally was allowed to return to Ramallah, in 1995,it was only to discover that exile had become a second nature. "Exile is not a geographical concept" he said in a recent interview, if you have no memories of the place,"you can be in exile in your own homeland."

Within his long reflection on exile, Darwish asks the following question:

"How could the green orchard be imprisoned
Exiled, banished to a port
And yet remain green"?

Darwish's poetry provides an answer. The power of creativity is a constant beginning. Ithas enabled Darwish to turn his exile into a metaphor of desire, oflonging and belonging at once, each informing and complementing the other. Together they create acurrent and countercurrent that unsettlethe poeticspace yet keep it throbbing.Poetry "changes the poet," Darwish wrote, and one might add it changes the reader in the process. To Darwish's question,"Where should we go after the last frontier..." one could respond,back to the poem. ThereDarwish's journey started at age 19;therehis readers will continue to find him. And"Where should the birds fly after the last sky?" Back to "the word," which, as Darwish discovered early on, can bea most powerful "weapon." Back to the "words," for they"have wings," according to Garcia Lorca.

Please join us in celebrating the life and poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, the "Poet of the Palestinian Resistance," "The Lover from Palestine."

"I am a poet...and I shall go on writing".

Last updated: 2008-09-24 13:40:29

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