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Samih al-Qasem

The prominent Palestinian poet Samih al-Qasim, who died few days ago at the age of 75 years, is one of the most famous of contemporary Arab poets, founder of the newspaper "Kul al-Arab" (All the Arab) and former member of the Communist Party; his poetry reflects the rebellion and resistance of the occupied Palestine.

 He was born inMay1939 in the Jordanian city of Zarqa to a Palestinian family from the village of Ramah, and learned in Ramah and Nasera schools, then worked as a teacher in one of its schools. He entered the political domain through joining the Communist Party, before devoting himself to his literary writings.

The late Palestinian poet was imprisoned many times by Israeli occupation forces, placed under house arrest and fired from his job several times because of his poetic political activities against Israeli occupation. He has also faced death threat at home as abroad.

He wrote a number of novels reflecting the struggle and suffering of the Palestinians. He has as well established an artistic theater carrying a political message that was able to influence world public opinion about the Palestinian cause.

Al –Qasem headed the popular arts foundation in Haifa, and then in 1966 worked as an editor in "this world" newspaper. Al- Qasem headed the Arab Writers and Palestinian Writers Unionsin Palestine beside his work as editor in "Idaat" cultural magazine.

He published more than60 books of poetry, stories, theater and translatedarticles.He has as well published seven volumes in several publishing houses: in occupied Jerusalem, Beirut and Cairo.

The late poet has received several awards, certificates of appreciation and honorary membership from several establishments.

Al-Qasem passed away on August 19, 2014 after a long battle with cancer.

N.H.Khider

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