Ibrahim Tuqan

  (Redirected from Ibrahim Touqan)

Ibrahim Abd al-Fattah Tuqan (Arabic: إبراهيم طوقان‎, 1905 – May 2, 1941) was a Palestinian nationalist poet whose work rallied Arabs during their revolt against the British mandate. Tuqan was born in Nablus, Ottoman empire.[1] He was the brother of poet Fadwa Tuqan and he tutored and influenced her to write poetry.[2][3] Ibrahim belonged to the prominent Tuqan family that governed Nablus during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Ibrahim Tuqan
Nablus, Ottoman Empire
DiedMay 2, 1941(1941-05-02) (aged 35–36)
Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine
OccupationPoet and college professor
ChildrenJa'afar Tuqan and Ureib Tuqan Al-Bukhari


Tuqan at an early age

He attended the al-Rashadiyya al-Gharbiyya School in western Nablus for his primary education,[3] then St. George's School in Jerusalem for his secondary education. He continued his studies at the American University in Beirut from 1923 to 1929.[3] After graduating with a bachelor's degree in literature, Tuqān worked as a professor of Arabic literature at An-Najah National University in Nablus.[1][4] He spent one year in an-Najah University in 1929 when Palestine witnessed the massive uprising. This event influenced Tuqān to write nationalist poems. He later worked in two jobs as a professor at the American University in Beirut and a sub-director of the Arabic Programme Section of the Jerusalem-based Palestine Broadcasting Station.[5]

In 1937, he married Sāmia ʿAbd al-Hādī, and they had one son, Jaʿfar, and one daughter, Ureib.[4] Tuqān suffered from stomach problems throughout his life and in 1941 he died at the age of 36 from a peptic ulcer in the French Hospital in Jerusalem.[3][4]


Tuqan's career as a poet began during his adolescence. He was greatly influenced by his grandfather who wrote zajal, as well as his mother, who was fond of "heroic" Arabic literature. As he was encouraged by his father, Tuqan was highly interested Qur'an and used to read it every Ramadan. Tuqan published his first poem in 1923 while in Beirut. There, he found that the Lebanese press encouraged him greatly to publish his work.[3] In 1923, Tuqan also published his first ode in Lebanon under the title al-Mumarridat or Mala’ikat al-rahma.[6]

Most of his poems dealt with the Arab struggle against the British Mandate that controlled Palestine since 1922.[2][3] His poems gained fame in the Arab world during the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine.[1] According to author Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Tuqan's poetry is marked by "sincerity and emotional veracity. His verse clear and direct, the diction simple and well-chosen, and the phrases powerful and often terse."[3]

Here is an excerpt from one of his notable poems, Mawtini, which he wrote during the Arab revolt:[1]

The sword and the pen

Not talking nor quarreling

Are our symbols

Our glory and covenant

And a duty to fulfill it

Shake us

Our honor

Is an honorable cause

A raised flag

O, your beauty

In your eminence

Victorious over your enemies

My homeland

My homeland

The poem served as the de facto national anthem of Palestine until the country adopted an official one in 1996. In 2004, Iraq adopted the poem as its official national anthem.[7][8][9] Many Palestinians still identify with "Mawtini" along with "Fida'i" and consider the former a sort of unofficial second national anthem of their country.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Poems: Ibrahim Tukan Archived 2004-02-15 at the Wayback Machine Nablus Municipal Website.
  2. ^ a b Obituary: Fadwa Tuqan Joffe, Lawrence. The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited 15 December 2003.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Jayyusi, Salma Khadra; Christopher Tingley (1997). Trends and Movements in Modern Arabic Poetry. BRILL. pp. 285–287. ISBN 90-04-04920-7.
  4. ^ a b c Ibrahim Touqan Nablus the Culture.
  5. ^ Palestinian Personalities – T Archived 2008-05-05 at the Wayback Machine Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA).
  6. ^ "Ibrahim Tuqan". palestinian journeys. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  7. ^ Iraq: Mawtini (My Homeland) National Anthems.
  8. ^ Mawtini (My Homeland) (The Palestinian National Anthem 1936–) Archived 2008-12-01 at the Wayback Machine Ayyad Central.
  9. ^ "National Anthem of Iraq". Archived from the original on 2006-03-16. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  10. ^ Wills, Emily Regan (July 2016). "Discourses and Differences: Situating Pro-Palestine Activism in Discursive Context". Theory in Action. 9 (3): 48–71. doi:10.3798/tia.1937-0237.16018.

External linksEdit