Palestinian literary icon Zakaria Mohammad dies aged 73

Palestinian literary icon Zakaria Mohammad dies aged 73
Renowned Palestinian poet Zakaria Mohammad, known for his thought-provoking works and contributions to preserving Palestinian cultural heritage, passes away at 73, leaving a lasting impact on modernist Arabic poetry.
2 min read
02 August, 2023
Zakaria Mohammad won the Mahmoud Darwish Prize for Culture and Creativity in 2020 [Getty]

Renowned Palestinian poet and writer Zakaria Mohammad has passed away on Wednesday at the age of 73.

Born in 1951 in the occupied Palestinian village of al-Zawiya near Nablus, his works left an indelible mark on modernist Arabic poetry and the preservation of Palestinian cultural heritage.

Zakaria Mohammad's literary journey began when he pursued his passion for Arabic literature at Baghdad University, where he studied and honed his poetic craft.

After graduating in 1975, he moved to Beirut, where he made significant contributions to Palestinian media and cultural platforms, establishing himself as a versatile and prolific literary figure.

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Throughout the 1980s, he worked as an editor, writer, and journalist, in various Palestinian media and cultural platforms in Beirut, Amman, and Damascus, the most important of which were Al-Hurriya (The Freedom) and Al-Fikir Al-Democrati (Demoncratic Thought) magazines. He moved to Ramallah in 1994.

Among his achievements were his notable poetry publications, known for their thought-provoking themes and distinctive style. He further showcased his talents with the publication of his first novel in 1996 and a collection of plays in 1999.

His acclaimed Arabic language novels 'Al-Ayan Al-Mua'tima' (The Dark Eye) and 'Assa Al-Raee' (The Sheperd's Staff) solidified his place among renowned Arab intellects.

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Zakaria Mohammad also published children's literature, including 'Awal Zahra fi al-Arid' (The First Rose on Earth) and 'Mughani al-Matar' (Rain Singer).

He won the Mahmoud Darwish Prize for Culture and Creativity in 2020.

Today, the Palestinian literary community paid tribute to this exceptional talent, reflecting on his immense contributions to preserving the cultural heritage of the Palestinian people and providing a voice to their aspirations and struggles.