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Ibrahim Tukan was born in Nablus in 1905.  After elementary schooling there, the future poet attended the al-Mutran School in Jerusalem then received his diploma of Higher Literature Studies from the American University in Beirut in 1934.  Ibrahim Tukan pursued a career as a teacher of Arab literature at the Al-Najah National School in Nablus as well as at the American University in Beirut.  From 1936 to 1941 he broadcast classics of Arab literature for the Palestine Radio Station.  Ibrahim Tukan died in the French Hospital in Jerusalem in 1941 at the age of 36.

Ibrahim Tukan was a sensitive man and a poet who received recognition in literary circles.  While his poetry touches on love and the beauty of life, his favourite themes nevertheless reside in patriotism.   He is a representative with Abu Salma (Abd al-Karim al-Karmi) and Abd al-Rahim Mahmud Ibrahim of the wave of nationalist poets of the 1930s which contributed to the awakening of a revolutionary conscience in Palestine.  Some of his texts have been put to music by Palestinian and Arab musicians.

Although he is also the composer of the present Iraqi national anthem, Ibrahim Tukan is above all known as the composer of the Palestinian national anthem of the anti-British revolts of 1936 – 1939.  A translation follows.

"Homeland"

My homeland
My homeland
Glory and beauty
Sublimity and prettiness
Are in your hills
Life and deliverance
Pleasure and hope
Are in your atmosphere
Will I see you?
Safe and comfortable
Sound and honored
Will I see you?
In your eminence
Reaching the stars
My homeland
My homeland

The youth will not get tired
Their goal is your independence
Or they die
We will drink from death
But we will not be slaves to our enemies
We do not want
An eternal humiliation
Nor a miserable life
We do not want
But we will return
Our great glory
My homeland
My homeland

The sword and the pen
Are our symbols
Not talking nor quarreling
Our glory and covenant
And a duty to be honest
Shake us
Our glory
Is an honorable cause
And a waving standard
O, behold your felicity
In your eminence
Victorious over your enemies
My homeland
My homeland


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