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Google Doodle commemorates poet Nizar Qabbani

Four Google Doodles celebrate Qabbani’s 93rd birthday

Ahram Online , Monday 21 Mar 2016
Nizar Qabbani
'At Home' Google Doodle commemorating poet Nizar Qabbani

Iconic Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani was commemorated on Monday with Google Doodles to celebrate his 93rd birthday.

Google is honouring him with four separate doodles, titled Jasmine in Damascus Courtyard, Moon Hotel in Beirut, Palm Trees in Iraq, and At Home.

Qabbani was born in Damascus, Syria, and lived between 1923 and 1998, dying in London.

Graduating from Damascus University with a bachelor’s degree in law, Qabbani was a diplomat, poet and publisher.

Qabbani worked for the Syrian Foreign Ministry, and served as consul or cultural attaché in several capital cities, including Beirut, Cairo, Istanbul, Madrid, and London.

He was appointed as vice-secretary of the United Arab Republic for its embassies in China in 1959.

During his time in China, he wrote extensively, producing some of his finest works.

In 1966 he resigned from the diplomatic field, and tended to the publishing house under his name, which he established in Beirut.

Though his writing was widely revered for its sensual and romantic verse, he also depicted a variety of themes including religion, feminism, and Arab nationalism.

His personal life is tainted with the deaths of those closest to him. He first lost his sister at a young age, then his 22-year-old son, his first wife Zahra Abqiq, then his second wife Balqia Al-Rawi, who died in a bomb attack in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war.

Qabanni was one of the most progressive thinkers of his time, and across 50 years, wrote over 34 books of poetry. His work was featured in 24 volumes of poetry, as well as his regular contributions to the Arabic-language newspaper Al Hayat.

Qabbani’s verses were also sung and popularised in lyrics by many renowned Arab singers including Abdel Halim Hafez, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Fairuz, Oum Kalthoum, as well as more recently by Kazem El Saher and Majida El-Roumi among others.

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