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