Topics: Syria, Egypt, Nizar Qabbani Pages: 6 (1654 words) Published: February 5, 2013
Nizar Qabbani
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Nizar Qabbani
نزار قباني|
Born| March 21, 1923
Damascus, Syria|
Died| April 30, 1998 (aged 75)
London, England|
Occupation| diplomat, poet, writer, publisher|
Nationality| Syrian||
Nizar Tawfiq Qabbani (Arabic: نزار توفيق قباني‎, Nizār Tawfīq Qabbānī) (21 March 1923 – 30 April 1998) was a Syrian diplomat, poet and publisher . His poetic style combines simplicity and elegance in exploring themes of love, eroticism, feminism, religion, and Arab nationalism. Qabbani is one of the most revered contemporary poets in the Arab world. Contents  [hide]  * 1 Biography * 1.1 Early life * 1.2 Diplomatic career * 2 Poetic influences * 3 Personal life * 3.1 Family * 3.2 Marriages * 4 Late life and death * 5 Bibliography * 5.1 Poetry * 5.2 Other works * 5.3 Other languages * 6 References * 7 External links| -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Early life

Qabbani as a youth.
Nizar Qabbani was born in the Syrian capital of Damascus to a middle class merchant family.[1] Qabbani was raised in Mi'thnah Al-Shahm, one of the neighborhoods of Old Damascus. Qabbani studied at the national Scientific College School in Damascus between 1930 and 1941.[2] The school was owned and run by his father's friend, Ahmad Munif al-Aidi. He later studied law at the Damascus University, which was called Syrian University until 1958. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in law in 1945.[2] While a student in college he wrote his first collection of poems entitled The Brunette Told Me. It was a collection of romantic verses that made several startling references to a woman's body, sending shock waves throughout the conservative society in Damascus.[2] To make it more acceptable, Qabbani showed it to Munir al-Ajlani, the minister of education who was also a friend of his father and a leading nationalist leader in Syria. Ajlani liked the poems and endorsed them by writing thepreface for Nizar's first book.

Qabbani as a law student in Damascus, 1944.
[edit]Diplomatic career
After graduating from law school, Qabbani worked for the Syrian Foreign Ministry, serving as Consul or cultural attaché in several capital cities, including Beirut, Cairo,Istanbul, Madrid, and London. In 1959, when the United Arab Republic was formed, Qabbani was appointed Vice-Secretary of the UAR for its embassies in China. He wrote extensively during these years and his poems from China were some of his finest. He continued to work in the diplomatic field until he tendered his resignation in 1966. By that time, he had established a publishing house in Beirut, which carried his name. -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Poetic influences
When Qabbani was 15, his sister, who was 25 at the time, committed suicide because she refused to marry a man she did not love.[3] During her funeral he decided to fight the social conditions he saw as causing her death. When asked whether he was a revolutionary, the poet answered: “Love in the Arab world is like a prisoner, and I want to set (it) free. I want to free the Arab soul, sense and body with my poetry. The relationships between men and women in our society are not healthy.” He is known as one of the most feminist and progressive intellectuals of his time.[3] The city of Damascus remained a powerful muse in his poetry, most notably in the Jasmine Scent of Damascus.[3] The 1967 Arab defeat also influenced his poetry and his lament for the Arab cause.[3][4] The defeat marked a qualitative shift in Qabbani's work - from erotic love poems to poems with overt political themes of rejectionism and resistance.[3] For instance, his poem Marginal Notes on the Book of Defeat, a stinging self-criticism of Arab inferiority, drew anger from both the right and left sides of the Arab political dialogue....
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