Palestinian Poet Harun Rasheed Passes Away

Palestinian Poet Harun Rasheed Passes Away

Renowned Palestinian poet Harun Hashim Rasheed was born in Gaza in 1927. (File photo)

Renowned Palestinian poet Harun Hashim Rasheed died on Monday at the age of 93.

The poet’s death was announced in Mississauga, in Canada.

Born in Gaza in 1927, poet Harun Hashim Rasheed witnessed, as a child, British soldiers demolishing his and his neighbors’ homes in reprisal against Palestinian resistance fighters, an incident which left a deep mark on him as a poet.

After obtaining a Higher Teacher Training Diploma from Gaza College, he worked as a teacher until 1954. He then became director of Sawt al-Arab broadcasting station in the district of Gaza. After the fall of Gaza to the Israelis in 1967, he was harassed by the Israeli occupation forces and was eventually compelled to leave the region.

He worked in Cairo, as representative of Palestine at the League of Arab States, and passed away in May 2002. His poetry is among those contemporary writings most committed to the Palestinian cause; he describes in his simple, direct, balanced, and highly expressive verse the plight of Palestinians uprooted from their homes, their inner torment, and the deep feelings of loss and alienation that they have known throughout the years.

The appearance in 1954 of his first collection, “With the Strangers”, was a great event in the history of Palestinian poetry, as he was perhaps the first poet to address himself to the question of the physical and spiritual alienation of the Palestinians. Since then he has published sixteen other collections, the most recent of which, “The Rebellion of Stone”, which appeared in 1988.

Rasheed has also written plays, a novel, “Years of the Suffering” (1971), and several studies on poetry and politics.

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