Born in Nablus on the 1st of March, 1917, Fadwa Tuqan was not given the opportunity to pursue her education and focused instead on self-study with the assistance of her brother, Ibrahim Tuqan. Fadwa. Due to the untimely death of her brother and the prevailing social and political constraints, she was determined to master her writing. She first used traditional forms, then evolved to more free verse. Her poetry reflects different angles of Palestinian life, portraying personal sentiments. Early collections include “My Brother Ibrahim” (1946) and “Alone With The Days” (1952). Her poetry became more nationalistic after 1967.
She studied English Language and Literature at Oxford University in the UK from 1962-64, and later traveled across Europe. Tuqan was considered Palestine’s leading female poetess and received several awards: The International Poetry Award in Palermo, Italy, the Jerusalem Award for Culture and Arts awarded by the PLO in 1990, the United Arab Emirates Award also in 1990, and the Honorary Palestine Prize for Poetry in 1996. Her works include the childhood memories in “Mountainous Journey” (1985), the poems “Self-Portrait” and “Martyrs of the Intifada” as well as the poetry collections “Give Us Love” (Arabic, 1960), “Before The Closed Door” (Arabic, 1967), and “Daily Nightmares” (translated. to English in 1988). Fadwa was the subject of a documentary film directed by novelist Liana Badr in 1999 and died in Nablus on the 12th of December, 2003 after suffering a stroke.
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