The poet Youssef Al-Khatib .. “The Crazy Palestine”, who sticks to the constants

To fall in love with the one you love means that you have achieved a degree of love that none of the “politicians” and “realists” can achieve. Madness is the highest degree of love, the last stage of sacrifice and the deepest state of integration. This is one of the benefits of the absence of reason in the fatal stages. Was it not for some “crazy people”, the Palestinians case would have ended in the first meeting of the League of Arab States.

In the difficult stages, you have to take risks, go against the trend and logic, and confront the great powers to achieve your goal, even if it requires you to live in caves or get lost in the desert, or in the pieces.

When you are insane, half solutions are absent, and the standard of madness (Palestine) becomes the standard of right and wrong, the standard of sincerity and betrayal, and the standard of integrity in the struggle and deterrence of the negligent.

So what if this “malman” was a capable poet, a capable writer and an articulating broadcaster, like the poet Youssef al-Khatib ?! He called himself “the crazy man of Palestine”! Not fanaticism, but because he saw that Palestine is worthy of love to the point of madness, and worthy of believing in the attainment of return and liberation.

Surely his poems will be issued expressing this madness with rage against every negligent and conspirator. His life was generally against this indifference. He declared his anger in the face of near and far, Arab and non-Arab, for to him Palestine is the standard by which every human being on this earth is measured, and every matter he faces in his life.

Therefore, our poet is the poet of Palestinian rage, which was narrowed by the Arab countries after he was uprooted from his land. He does not believe that he is a guest there, but is rather an Arab citizen in an Arab country that believes in his unity and his duty towards the liberation of Palestine.

Who is the poet Youssef Al-Khatib?

He was born in the town of Dura near Hebron in 1931, when Palestine witnessed successive uprisings against British colonialism, which worked to bring Jewish immigration into the country, and the uprisings continued to accumulate until the Great Revolution broke out in 1936 and continued until 1939.

It was at the height of the splendor of the pioneers of the second poetic renaissance, the trio (Toukan, Abd al-Rahim Mahmoud, Abu Salma), who accidentally formed a revolutionary trio with Harun Hashem Rashid and Mu’in Bseisu has what shone from the refugee camps and their tragedies, calling for revolution and salvation.

Al-Khatib studied law at Damascus University and graduated in 1955. During that time he published several volumes of poetry on hope, revolution, return and liberation, and published many of his poems on the pages of the famous Beirut magazine “Al-Adab” and other Arab magazines and newspapers. His poem “The Thirsty Eyes of Light” won first prize in the “Al-Adab” magazine competition, which was organized at the level of the Arab world at the time.

His presence was firmly established in Palestinian and Arab literary circles, although poetry at that time experienced great personalities and major transformations, between classical and activating, free and modern, so his poetry was a harmonious blend of classical and modern.

He was known for his creativity in radio and pulpit performances, and his theatrical ability to perform, and the Arab public knew him better through Syrian radio and television, as a popular and brilliant broadcaster, and thereafter as Director-General of Syrian Radio and Television in 1965.

Youssef Al-Khatib worked during the Unity at Radio Cairo, then at Radio Nederland International, and founded the Palestine Publishing House, which published the “Palestine Notebook” which documented the events of Palestine daily. The house also released its “Diwan of the Occupied Homeland” in which he introduced the poets of Palestine in the occupied interior in 1948.

He was firm, strict, angry, dreaming of glory, return, deliverance and victory. When his dreams were let down, he did not fall back. Rather, he remained angry at the Arabs and their failure. He wrote:

I could believe out of doubt and out of surprise
These millions are not the Arab nation

Al-Khatib has rejected settlement proposals since the 1974 Ten-Point Program, and published a dismissive poem entitled “Oedipus as King of the West Bank and Gaza”!

It’s beautiful to read his angry poetry: Who is this horse running without his knight ?! This brings us back to Darwish’s Diwan more than two decades later, “Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone?” used life. .

Al-Khatib participated in the work of the founding body (the Arab Writers’ Union) in Syria, and contributed to the development of its statute and internal system. In 1968, he was unanimously elected by the then Palestinian national forces and activities as a member of the Palestinian National Council (on behalf of the independents), and he maintained this position until his death. He also participated in the founding general conference (held by the Union of Palestinian Writers and Journalists in Beirut) and was elected to the deputy general secretariat of the trade union. He was awarded the Jerusalem Medal for Literature in 1991.

Our poet passed away in June 2011 in Damascus.

His poetic writings:

Thirty Eyes of Light, 1955. “Returning,” 1959. “The Oasis of Hell,” 1964. “The Madman of Palestine,” 1983. “I Saw God in Gaza,” 1988. “In Sham, My Family, and Passion , Baghdad, ”1988.

His prose writings:

“The Diwan of the Occupied Homeland” includes a collection of poems and volumes of poetry from Occupied Palestine in 1948, including a study by the poet on the poetic movement in Occupied Palestine.
Destructive Elements, a collection of short stories published in 1964 by the Modern Library in Lebanon.
– “Kafr Qassem Massacre”, a literary work he liked to translate into English, French and German.
– “The Palestinian Notebook”, documents the events and diaries of the Palestinian cause, based on a number of important references in this case, and publishes it for nine years (1967-1976) in five international languages, namely Arabic, English, French , Spanish and German.

Nightingale the Migrant Poem

Do you like me, my friend, spend the time?
Through black nights and adversity
No owner relaxes you the veil of the garment

I’m eager, my friend, tinted with fire
Do you have some news and secrets?
For the thirsty on the labyrinth of naked beast.
How did the countries leave them at the March wedding?
And when did you turn your shiny wing away from home?
Wow .. you came to us without a souvenir

What is your departure, you weeping homeless?
About the land of fantasy forests and its sweet smell
Or has the pasture of blossoms become a desert of thorns?
And his rivers were colored by the killing of the dead
Dari and in my eyes and lips Nguk
I would not be the offspring of my Arabism if I had forgotten you

Joseph’s poem

innocent of you, Palestine you slaughter
His flesh will remain on your fangs
O you traders, wicked and sinners!
The blood of the fedayeen is on your neck
I say it, the wind blows, so be it
You stole the revolution in your pocket

O princes of the benevolent revolution!
Are you students of his maximum, and his guardians?
The mother of the hyenas gathered around her
The minarets of Jerusalem and their bells
Their ruined relationships curse you !!
And you are the sellers, the buyers and the merchandise

You made the ground cheaper, and the surgeon’s price
and you betrayed the breast whose eye caught up with you
And you sold Satan, the battle is cleansed
You robbed this trust from the beginning
You swept the revolution in the swamp of humiliation
You stabbed two “intifadas” with the dagger of betrayal
And the dream has become the rule .. and you have become a professional priest.

Palestinian writer and poet

Leave a Comment