Mahmud Darwish was born in Al-Birwah near Akka in 1941. In 1948, the village was attacked by the Zionists and its people left to other places. Darwish ran away at the age of seven to find himself in Lebanon knowing nothing about his family. A year later, he went back to Palestine to find his village totally ruined and an Israeli settlement is in its place.
Darwish wrote his first poems when he was in the elementary school in the village of Der Al-Asad. He was detained by the Israelis and was put under house arrest several times. He was denied having a higher education. However he managed to go to Moscow in 1970 from where he went to Cairo in 1971. He was the head of The Palestinian Center for Research, editor of Shu'oon Falasteeniyyah (Palestinian Affairs Magazine), head of The General Association of Palestinian Writers and Journalists, editor of Al-Karmil Magazine of the GAPWJ, and lately member of The Executive Committee of the PLO. He resigned from this position in 1993.
Last update: 09:23 PM Thursday, March 9, 2006