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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Mahmoud Darwish Foundation


Mahmoud Darwish Foundation

The Mahmoud Darwish Foundation was established upon a Presidential decree issued in Ramallah on October 4, 2008. It is a Palestinian non-profit foundation established in recognition of Darwish's esteemed status within the Palestinian national movement as well as his inspirational influence on the Palestinian, regional and international literary scenes.

The foundation seeks to safeguard Mahmoud Darwish’s cultural, literary and intellectual legacy, and promote his noble values; the love he had for his homeland, deep respect for human dignity, and his utter veneration of life. The foundation also aims at reinforcing Darwish's enlightened vision and authentic expression of the Palestinian cause, with all its humanitarian dimensions.

The foundation's activities will focus on collecting and safeguarding Mahmoud Darwish’s works and legacy, as well as organizing and fostering cultural, literary, artistic, humanitarian, charity and media activities. The foundation has established an annual award "The Mahmoud Darwish Award for Creativity" granted to intellectuals from Palestine and elsewhere.

In honor of the legendary poet, the foundation has constructed the Mahmoud Darwish Museum. The Museum is an exquisite edifice befitting the commemoration of the poet and his achievements. It stands as status and national devotion, relentlessly upholding his message of freedom and authenticity.

selected poem:

If I Were Another


If I were another on the road, I would not have looked
back, I would have said what one traveler said
to another: Stranger! awaken
the guitar more! Delay our tomorrow so our road
may extend and space may widen for us, and we may get rescued
from our story together: you are so much yourself ... and I am
so much other than myself right here before you!

If I were another I would have belonged to the road,
neither you nor I would return. Awaken the guitar
and we might sense the unknown and the route that tempts
the traveler to test gravity. I am only
my steps, and you are both my compass and my chasm.
If I were another on the road, I would have
hidden my emotions in the suitcase, so my poem
would be of water, diaphanous, white,
abstract, and lightweight ... stronger than memory,
and weaker than dewdrops, and I would have said:
My identity is this expanse!

If I were another on the road, I would have said
to the guitar: Teach me an extra string!
Because the house is farther, and the road to it prettier—
that’s what my new song would say. Whenever
the road lengthens the meaning renews, and I become two
on this road: I ... and another!

Reprinted from The Butterfly’s Burden (2007) by Mahmoud Darwish, translated by Fady Joudah.

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