The Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti died this Sunday in the Jordanian capital Amman. The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Culture, Atef Abu Seif, lamented the “loss of a symbol of national struggle and creativity”.
Although Barghouti was primarily a poet, he was best known internationally for the autobiographical novel Eu vi Ramallah (not published in Portugal), which was inspired by his visit to Ramallah after the Oslo Accords were signed in the 1990s, which led to the creation of a Palestinian stipulated state. It was an Israeli-controlled visit that Barghouti did not describe as a “return”.
The book is “one of the best existential accounts of the displacement of the Palestinians,” said the late 2003 writer Edward Said, author of the preface to the Brazilian edition of the book (Eu vi Ramallah, ed. Casa da Palavra)).
Barghouti was born in 1944, four years before the state of Israel was founded (Nakba, catastrophe for the Palestinians) in a village near Ramallah. When the Israeli-Arab war broke out in 1967, he was studying English literature in Cairo and had not been able to return to Ramallah for 30 years, says Al-Jazeera.
As a Palestinian with a Jordanian passport, Barghouti could only enter Jerusalem or part of the occupied territories, with the exception of Ramallah, with a special license, recalls The Guardian when he interviewed the poet in 2008.
The feeling of being forever removed from home is not only contained in the autobiographical book that was later viewed as a sequel. I was born there, I was born here, also not published in Portugal, but also in his poems (he) wrote twelve volumes of poetry).
He lived in several countries in the region, including Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, and twice in Egypt, where he met his wife, the writer Radwa Ashour, who died in 2014, and was deported for Anwar Sadat in 1977 because of his unpleasant voice.
He was a supporter of the Palestinian cause and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, but he always kept his distance from parties and factions. He criticized the Oslo Accords and the Palestinian Authority. “My colleagues are now ministers in Ramallah. I have defended the liberation of Palestine, but I have never defended fraudulent elections. Arafat [que morreu em 2004] He’s not a democratic leader, ”he also told the Guardian.
He read and presented his books all over the world (Portugal is an exception) and taught Palestinian and Arabic poetry at Oxford, Manchester, Oslo and Madrid universities, among others.
He never liked being defined as a “poet of resistance” or “poet of exile,” which was often the case with himself and other Palestinian writers who wrote about the occupation. “We are not poets with a single theme. A moment of joy or sadness has the opposite. There is no face, I see two. I keep asking myself; When it gets too easy, it’s better to give up. “
Her only son, Tamim Barghouti, spoke on Facebook about the death (the cause of death was not disclosed): “May Allah have mercy on my mother and father,” quoted Al-Jazeera. Tamim Barghouti is one of the most widely read poets of his generation (his readings fill stadiums) and is referred to as the “Poet of Jerusalem” for a poem about attempting to visit the city.