Palestinian poet, novelist and thinker Ezzedine Al Manasara has passed away in Amman, Jordan, on Monday, April 5, 2021, after contracting Covid-19. He was 74.
Al Manasara is considered one of the poets of the Palestinian resistance since the 1960s. His was associated with the armed and cultural resistance movements alongside poets Mahmoud Darwish, Samih Al Qassim and Tawfiq Ziyad, who were dubbed the 4 giants of Palestinian poetry. Several of his poems were sung by Marcel Khalife and other singers. Two of his poems, “Jafra” and “Bil Akhdar Kaffannah” (Enshrouded in Green), became very popular songs.
Al Manasara was born in 1946 in Bani Naim town in Al Khalil (Hebron). He was an award-winning academic who authored many books and patriotic Palestinian songs. He studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at Cairo University, where he graduated in 1968 and embarked on his poetic career. He later moved to Jordan, where he worked as Director of cultural programs in the Jordanian radio from 1970-1973, and cofounded the Jordanian Writers Association alongside a number of Jordanian thinkers and writers.
Al Manasara became involved with the Palestinian revolution after it moved to Beirut; volunteering in the military resistance as well as working independently in the Palestinian cultural field and cultural resistance. Moreover, he also worked as a cultural editor of
“Falasteen Al Thawra” (Palestine of the Revolution) magazine, the official Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Arabic-language weekly. He was also Editor-in-Chief of “Jareedat Al Ma’raka” (The Battle Newspaper), which was issued during the siege of Beirut, and sub-editor of “Shu’oon Falastiniyya” (Palestinian Affairs” magazine, which is affiliated with the Palestinian Research Center in Beirut. He obtained a Ph.D. in Modern Criticism and Comparative literature from Sophia University in 1981.
Al Manasara won several awards including Jordan’s State Appreciation Award in the field of poetry (1995) and Al Quds (Jerusalem) prize in 2011.
His poetry collections include “Ya Inab Al Khalil” (O’ Grapes of Hebron, Cairo & Beirut: 1968), “Al Khurooj Min Al Bahr Al Mayyit” (Coming out of the Dead Sea, Beirut: 1969), “Muthakkirat Al Bahr Al Mayyit” (Diary of the Dead Sea, Beirut: 1969), “Qamar Jarash Kana Hazinan” (The Moon of Jerash was Sorrowful, Beirut: 1974), “Bil Akhdar Kaffannah” (Enshrouded in Green, Beirut: 1976), “Jafra” (Beirut: 1981), “Kan’aaniatha” (Beirut: 1981), “Haiziya Ashiqa Min Rathath Al Wahat” (Amman: 1990), “Raa’wiyyat Kan’aaniyya” (Cyprus:1992), “La Athik bi ta’er al waq waq” (I Don’t trust the Cuckoos, Ramallah: 2000), “La Saqf lil Sama’” (The Sky has no Roof, Amman: 2009) and “Yatawahaj Kan’an” (Kan’an Glows: Selected Poems, Amman: 2008).