Ahmad Dahbour (1946-2017) is a renowned Palestinian poet born in Haifa, Palestine. On the day of his second birthday, his family was exiled from Palestine to Lebanon as Haifa fell into the hands of the Jewish paramilitary organizations during the 1948 War. His family ultimately settled in a refugee camp in Homs, Syria. Due to the harsh conditions and poverty that refugees faced, Dahbour did not complete high school; however, he was an avid reader and continued to teach himself, demonstrating an early gift for writing poetry in his teen years. He published his first collection of poetry, The Predators and the Children’s Eyes, when he was 18 years old, and his first complete book, which included seven collections of poetry, in 1983. His poem “The Tale of the Palestinian Child” written in 1969, appeared in his second collection, which bore the same title and gained him a distinguished place amongst prominent Palestinian and Arab poets. Dahbour worked as editor of Lotus magazine, editor-in-chief of Albayadir, general director of the Culture Department of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and deputy minister of culture of the Palestinian Authority, the position from which he ultimately retired. He published 13 collections of poetry in two books, and efforts are under way to publish his work, including some previously unpublished writings. Dahbour was presented with Tawfiq Zayyad Poetry Award in 1988 and was granted the Medal of the Order of Merit and Superiority by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2012. He also received the Palestinian Jerusalem Award for Culture and Creativity in 2015.
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