A commitment to his ancestral homeland of Palestine has fueled the poetry and song lyrics of Galilee-born Mahmoud Darwish. A staunch opponent of the Oslo peace agreement between Palestine and Israel, Darwish has consistently expressed his anger through his creative words. One of the best known Arab writers, Darwish has published his poetry and prose in more than thirty collections that have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Interviewed in 1996, shortly after his return to Galilee after twenty-six years in self-imposed exile, Darwish said, "As long as my sould is alive, no one can smother my feeling of nostalgia to a country which I still consider as Palestine". Darwish's political views were sparked at an early age. Barwesh, the village in which he was born, was razed to the ground by Israelis in 1948. As he grew, he became increasingly outspoken. In the early-1970s, his political activism resulted in his being placed under house arrest and imprisoned. He left Israel in 1971. Currently dividing his time between France, Jordan and Palestine, Darwish is the editor-in-chief of a literary review, Al Karmel. In 1998, he published a collection of love poems, Sareer El Gharuba.
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