Mahmoud Darwish was born in 1941 in the village of Al Birwa in Northern Palestine. As a child, Darwish had experienced exile from Palestine, resettlement as a refugee and internal displacement upon his return to Palestine.
After a performance of the poem ‘Identity Card’ in a Nazareth movie house, his reputation rocketed; his poetry distinguished throughout Palestine and the neighbouring Arab nations. The poet Naomi Shihab Nye wrote that Darwish “is the essential breath of the Palestinian people, the eloquent witness of exile and belonging”.
Darwish received global recognition and won numerous awards for his poetry and he continues to be remembered today as a literary activist and symbol of Palestinian resistance.