Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008, Palestine)

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Mahmoud Darwish (1941–2008, Palestine) was widely regarded as a pre-eminent man of letters and considered the “Voice of Palestine,” though he rejected that mantle. His poetry could be mystical, inspiring, or inflammatory—so inflammatory that in 1988 (during the First Intifada) the Israeli leader Yitzhak Shamir read lines from Darwish in the Knesset as evidence that Palestinians and Israelis could not coexist. Later in life, his focus broadened to embrace the universal human predicament.