Arts, Culture & Media

Funeral for Palestinian poet

A Jordanian army helicopter carrying Darwish's body landed in the Palestinian Authority's headquarters and near the grave of Yasser Arafat. The coffin emerged wrapped in a Palestinian flag and with yellow flowers. This author says his writing was not ordinary or even known to Palestinians, and he's a symbol of the Palestinian liberation movement. Darwish died last weekend at the age of 67 following complications of heart surgery. The author believes Darwish had a premonition he would not survive the surgery and had visited his elderly mother and sisters to say goodbye. Thousands of Palestinians lined the route of the funeral procession today. this construction worker brought his three young sons to say goodbye to Darwish. Darwish was born in a small village in Haifa and jailed several times in Israel. He left the West Bank for the Soviet Union in the early 1970s and spent much of his time in Cairo and Paris. In the 1990s he moved to Ramallah. President Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning. His poems have been translated into more than 20 languages. His most famous poem, �My Mother,� was written in an Israeli jail 40 years ago and refers to his own mother and the nascent state of Palestine. Darwish crafted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence which was adopted by the PLO in 1988. today an independent Palestinian state still seems a distant dream, as Israel still dominates life in much of the Palestinian territories. This filmmaker says Darwish was saddened by the divisions between Palestinians at current. Darwish never married and left no children, but the thousands of mourners felt as though they had lost a member of their family.

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