Google is celebrating Nizar Qabbani’s 93rd through a series of four different doodles. Nizar Qabbani, considered the titan of Arab literature, is one of the most revered contemporary poets in the Arab world. The doodles depict different periods in the poet’s life during which he wrote some of his most celebrated works, one of them being Beirut of course.
The illustrations are also inspired from Nizar Qabbani’s poems; such as the jasmine flowers from his garden in Damascus and the palm trees that lined Baghdad during his time there. Arab nationalism, love and feminism were among the most popular topics he wrote about, noting that he worked as a diplomat.
Qabbani had a special passion for Beirut and established his own publishing house here. He left it in 1981 after his wife, an Iraqi woman named Balqis al-Rawi, was killed in an attack on the Iraqi embassy in Beirut.
For those of you who haven’t read any of Qabbani’s poems, you probably heard them in songs as many were incorporated into lyrics by some of the most renowned Arab singers such Fairouz, Abdel-Halim Hafez, Majida el Roumi, Um Kalthoum, Kazem el Saher and others …
One of his most popular Beirut poems is “يا ست الدنيا يا بيروت” that became a post-war hit song by Majida al-Roumi.