There are many poets whose names have a remarkable impression in the Arab world, and the most important one, at least for me, was and still is Nizar bin Tawfiq Kabbani.
He is one of the most important, contemporary, romantic and popular love poets in the Arab world whose names are associated with the poetry of love. He is called the poet of woman, love and flirting. Most of his poems dealt with the issue of woman’s freedom.
He was born in Damascus in March 1923; his grandfather is Abu Khalil Qabbani, the pioneer of Arab theater. His father was a known merchant in Damascus.
Nizar married twice, the Syrian Zahra and the Iraqian Bilqis who was killed in 1982 leaving a very bad psychological effect on him. He left from Lebanon to Paris then to Geneva and finally to London where he spent the rest of his life, where he passed away on April 30, 1998 and his body was buried in his hometown, Damascus.
He had from the two wifes three daughters and two boys, one of them died when he was 17.
Nizar Qabbani studied and has degree in law from the University of Damascus. He published in 1944 his first collection of poetry during his study at the university entitled “The black told me”. This first collection of Nizar attracted and raised a strong controversy in the educational circles in the university.
He graduated in 1945 and joined the Syrian Foreign Ministry, and in the same year he was appointed in the Syrian Embassy in Cairo and where he issued his third collection “Childhood of Nahed” which was not only daring in its tittle, but also in its poetic language which was not familiar at that time.
He resigned from his diplomatic work in 1966 to devote himself to literary work. After his resignation he moved to Beirut, where he founded a private publishing establishment entitled “publications of Nizar Qabbani”.
Many critics described Nizar as a “Poetic School” and as “Social case and Cultural Phenomena”. Others described him saying that “he is really the poet who has his private language beside his daring language and selective subjects”.
Over the past 50 years the most important singers were competing to sing Nizar Qabbani poems, Including:
Umm Kulthum: (Now I have a gun).
Abdul Halim Hafez: (letter from beneath the water), and (Reader’s-Soothsayer).
Fairuz: (Don’t ask me what Habibi’s name is).
Najat al-Sageera: (I ask you to leave), (The master of words), (Does he think), etc.…
Fayza Ahmed: (A letter from a woman).
Majeda al-Romei: (I love you so much), (The paper), etc….
Talal Maddah: (when you will know how much I love you).
Kazem al-Saher:(Say I love you), (Do you have any doubt), (impossible love), and other poems.
Some of Nizar’s famous poetry collections are:
- The black told me
- A poem Bilqis
- Childhood of Nahed
- My beloved
- You are mine
- Book of love
- One hundred love letter
- Every year and you are my love
- Diary of a woman who is carless
- I love you, I love you and the rest comes
- Love doesn’t stop on the red light
- To the female, Beirut with my love
- Outlawed poetry
- Drawing in words
- Savage poems
- I swear that there is no woman, but you
- Like this, I write the history of women
- Love will remain my master
- I’m one man, and you are a tribe of women
- Fifty years in praising women
- No winner, but love
- I married you, O freedom
- The lovers’ dictionary
- Triple of Children’s stones
- Jasmine alphabet
Honoring Nizar, the street where Nizar was born was named after his name. “This street, which Damascus presented to me, is the gift of my age and it is the most beautiful house I have on the soil of paradise”. Said Nizar in this occasion