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Poet Taha Muhammad Ali dies in Nazareth

Oct. 3, 2011 7:59 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 5, 2011 7:14 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Celebrated poet Taha Muhammad Ali died in Nazareth on Sunday aged 80 years old.

Muhammad Ali was born in Saffuriya village, north of Nazareth, in 1931. He fled to Lebanon with his family in 1948 when the village was captured by the Israeli army.

The family was never able to return to his home, moving to nearby city of Nazareth, where he lived and worked in a souvenir shop throughout his life.

His poetry followed the experiences of Palestinians living in Israel, and Palestinian refugees around the world. They were translated into several languages, including English and Hebrew.

Muhammad Ali grew in international acclaim after an Israeli-American writer Adina Hoffman wrote a biography of his life in 2009.

The poet also wrote short stories and novels, and was deeply influenced by the sense of displacement his family experienced after 1948.
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