OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Samih al-Qasim, a Palestinian Druze poet known across the Arab world for his nationalist writing, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, a family friend said. He was 75.
Qasim died in Safed hospital in northern Israel after suffering from cancer of the liver for the past three years, Issam Khuri, a novelist and close family friend, told AFP.
He was best known for his nationalist poetry in which he passionately defended the rights and identity of Israel’s Arab minority.
Poems by Qasim, who was known as a “resistance poet,” were widely embraced across the Arab world as a symbol of steadfastness in the struggle against foreign occupation, with many translated into English and other languages.
“I have no love for you, death, nor do I fear you. But you are making a bed of a body and a blanket of my soul,” he wrote last week as he was dying.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 20, 2014, on page 1.