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August 9, 2008

Mahmoud Darwish is dead

from Al Jazeera
Mahmoud Darwish, the renowned Palestinian poet, has died after open heart surgery at the Memorial Hermann medical centre in Texas.

Darwish's poetry has been translated into more than 20 languages [GALLO/GETTY]

Ann Brimberry, Memorial Hermann’s spokeswoman, confirmed to Al Jazeera that Darwish died at 1.35pm (1835GMT).

Siham Daoud, a fellow poet and friend of Darwish, 67, had asked not to be resuscitated if the surgery did not succeed.

She said Darwish departed for the US ten days ago for the surgery, and he had undergone two operations for heart problems before Saturday’s surgery.

Best known for his work describing the Palestinian struggle for independence, the experience of exile and factional infighting, Darwish was a vocal critic of Israeli policy and the occupation of Palestinian lands.

Many of his poems have also been put into music – most notably Rita, Birds of Galilee and I yearn for my mother’s bread, becoming anthems for at least two generations of Arabs.

“He felt the pulse of Palestinians in beautiful poetry. He was a mirror of the Palestinian society,” Ali Qleibo, a Palestinian anthropologist and lecturer in cultural studies at Al Quds University in Jerusalem said.


Brits gone wild

by Hugh Wilson

Friday, 08 August 2008

As officials in Zante hold crisis talks over the drunken, violent and lewd behaviour of UK tourists, we recap the most cringe-worthy Brits-abroad sins of recent years.
British revellers have been wreaking havoc in Greece, causing local authorities to call for action
Perhaps the mayor of the Greek seaside resort of Faliraki put it best. “Mercifully our clientele this summer is a wonderful mix of people from all over Europe who know how to peacefully enjoy their time…There are far fewer Britons.”

Oh dear. It’s a rather embarrassing fact that in large swathes of Europe – and, increasingly, elsewhere – the annual influx of British holidaymakers is welcomed by bar owners and dreaded by just about everyone else. During the summer months, the unsightly antics of boozed-up, lobster-skinned Brits make front pages from Majorca to Marrakech, Ibiza to Istanbul.

Last year, a Foreign Office report revealed the extent of our shame. In 2005–6, 1,368 Brits were arrested in America, 955 hospitalised in Greece and 6,000 lost their passports in Spain.


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