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Mourid Barghouti (Arabic: مريد البرغوثي‎, Murīd al-Barghūthī) (born July 8, 1944) is a Palestinian poet and writer. He was born in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank.

Mourid Barghouti
مريد البرغوثي
Mourid Barghouti.JPG
Personal details
Born (1944-07-08) July 8, 1944 (age 75)
Deir Ghassana, Mandatory Palestine[1]
ChildrenTamim Albarghouti



Barghouti grew up in Ramallah as one of four brothers.[citation needed] In the mid-1960s, he studied at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt.[citation needed] He was in his last year when the Six-Day War of 1967 started. By the end of the war, Israel had captured Gaza and the West Bank, and Barghouti, like many Palestinians living abroad, was prevented from returning to his homeland.[citation needed]

After the war Barghouti taught at the Industrial College in Kuwait.[citation needed] At the same time, he began to pursue his interest in literature and poetry, and his writings were soon published in the journals al-Adab, Mawaqif, in Beirut and al-Katib, "attaleea" and "Al Ahram" in Cairo.[citation needed] In 1968, he became acquainted with the Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, who was also working in Kuwait.[citation needed]

In 1970, Barghouti married Radwa Ashour, an Egyptian novelist and academic.[citation needed] The two had met years earlier, when they were both students of the English Department at Cairo University.[citation needed] They have one child, a son, Tamim Al Barghouti, born in 1977 in Egypt, who is now a poet.[citation needed]

The couple left Kuwait for Egypt less than a year after marrying.[citation needed] In 1972, Barghouti published his first book of poetry in 1972.[citation needed] He has since published 12 books of poetry, the last of which is Muntasaf al-Lail (Midnight, Beirut, 2005, Riad El Rayes Publishers).[citation needed] His Collected Works appeared in Beirut in 1997.[citation needed]

A Small Sun, his first poetry book in English translation, was published by the Aldeburgh Poetry Trust in 2003.[citation needed] He was awarded the Palestine Award for Poetry in 2000.[citation needed]

In the autumn of 1977, Barghouti was deported from Egypt on the eve of Anwar Sadat's controversial visit to Israel and was allowed to come back only after 17 years. Barghouti, his wife and their son had to spend most of the next 17 years apart; Radwa lived in Cairo as a professor of English at Ain Shams University, and he lived in Budapest as a PLO representative in the World Federation of Democratic Youth and a cultural attache.

The Oslo Accords finally allowed Barghouti to return to the West Bank, and in 1996 he returned to Ramallah after 30 years of exile.[citation needed] This event inspired his autobiographical novel Ra'aytu Ram Allah (I Saw Ramallah), published by Dar Al Hilal (Cairo, 1997), which won him the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in the same year.[citation needed]

In an interview with Maya Jaggi in The Guardian, Barghouti was quoted as saying: "I learn from trees. Just as many fruits drop before they're ripe, when I write a poem I treat it with healthy cruelty, deleting images to take care of the right ones."[2]


English translations:

  • Midnight and Other Poems, translated by Radwa Ashour, ARC Publications, UK, October 2008, ISBN 1-904614-68-X, ISBN 978-1-904614-68-5
  • I Was Born There, I Was Born Here, Bloomsbury, 2011
  • I Saw Ramallah Random House, Anchor Books, 2003-05-13 ISBN 1-4000-3266-0 and Bloomsbury, UK, ISBN 0-7475-7470-7 and the American University in Cairo Press (January 2003), ISBN 978-977-424-755-2
  • A Small Sun, Poems translated by Radwa Ashour and W. S. Merwin, Aldeburgh Poetry Trust, 2003 paperback, Suffolk, UK, ISBN 0-9535422-2-X

Spanish translations:


  1. ^ Tonkin, Boyd (23 January 2009). "Midnight, By Mourid Barghouti, trans Radwa Ashour". The Independent. London.
  2. ^ Interview by Maya Jaggi (2008-12-13). "Interview: Mourid Barghouti | Books". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-11-12.

External linksEdit