I sadly acknowledge the passing away of Mahmoud Darwish, poet, writer, intellectual and political activist. I discovered him by coincidence some years ago while watching a French tv programme, one of those about culture and poltics that the French do so well.
His poetry reading and his interview talk were spell-binding. He spoke in simple words, yet profound. Or perhaps it was just the translation in French that brought out his Arabic in such a manner. Even though I could not understand what he said, it was beautiful to listen to the sound of his words in Arabic.
As people like Darwish disappear, I wonder if there are men and women to take up from where he left off. Do we still have people of moral integrity, with sensibilities for the human condition and active in politics, engaged with and part of society? Or is it that today, the issues that we confront, no longer lend themselves to such activism?
Read his obituary in The Guardian.