Lesser known facts about Nizar Qabbani on his birthday.


Today marks the 99th birthday of Nizar Qabbani, affectionately known as “The Sant of Poetry”.

Born in the Syrian capital of Damascus to a middle-class merchant family, he is well known for many seminal poems that explore themes of love, eroticism, feminism, religion and Arab nationalism. . Her poetry collections include Childhood of a Breast (1948), The Lover’s Dictionary (1981), I’m One Man and You are a Tribe of Women (1992), and others.

He also belonged to the group of poets who attempted to revive Romantic poetry in the late 17th and 18th centuries.

After graduating from law school, Qabbani joined the Syrian Foreign Ministry, serving as a consul or cultural attaché in several capitals, including Beirut, Cairo, Istanbul, Madrid and London.

In 1959, when the United Arab Republic was formed, Qabbani took the helm as the UAR’s deputy secretary for its embassies in China.

During these years the remarkable poet wrote extensively and his poems from China were among his best.

The Syrian poet continued to work in diplomacy until he submitted his resignation in 1966. At that time, he had created a publishing house in Beirut, which bore his name.

Although Qabbani did not achieve great popularity during his lifetime, his unique talent was realized after his death with the discovery of many of his manuscripts.

Today, critics regard him as the notable poet of the era of Arab Romanticism. Romanticism began to write poems at an early age. While he was a student at the University of Damascus, his poem titled (The Brunette Told Me) was published in 1944. Many of his romantic poems were published in various literary magazines.

Qabbani’s poems inspired a national pride of the Arab nation, especially in the 1980s and during the civil war in Lebanon. Although primarily a poet, he also wrote essays, short stories and novels.

The remarkable late poet 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 named Balqis al-Rawi, who was killed in the 1981 Iraqi embassy bombing in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War on December 15, 1981.

Despite his death in 1998, he still occupies a prominent place in Arabic literature.

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