Who we are
Mahmoud Darwish, AKA the Poet of Exile. Darwish has played an important role in forming national awareness among Palestinians, attaching them his poems to their homeland by focusing on human values. In August 2012, four years after his death, The Mahmoud Darwish Museum has opened to the public. The Museum is an exquisite edifice befitting the commemoration of Darwish and his achievements. It seeks to safeguard the poet’s cultural, literary and intellectual legacy, and promote his noble values: the love he had for his homeland, deep respect for human dignity, and his utter veneration of life. Darwish’s work is the chronicle of a people’s struggle for survival, written with eloquence and profound aestheticism. He exalted the value of innovation and openness to world cultures. Through his engagement with existential questions, he became indisputably one of the most significance icons of contemporary humanitarian culture. Mahmoud Darwish left a rich legacy, a large body of literary works, primarily in the fields of poetry (twenty six volumes) and of prose (eleven volumes), most of which have been translated in over twenty two languages. He was recognized and acclaimed as Palestinian poet laureate and was celebrated and honored locally, regionally, and internationally, receiving numerous prestigious awards, medals and citations.
The Mahmoud Darwish Museum is one of the cultural institutions in Palestine which took upon itself the task of contributing to the creation of the enlightened Palestinian cultural scene, through its support and sponsorship of a large number of cultural, artistic, and literary activities. The museum provides an avenue for Palestinians to present their intellectual, literary and artistic creations to the Palestinian public. It also hopes to be a bridge among the different cultures of the region by hosting leading innovators and giving an opportunity to the Palestinian public to see the most prominent intellectual and cultural productions of creative Arabs, and to provide a forum in which to dialogue with the artists.
This museum was constructed in honor of the legendary poet and it stands as a living testimony to Darwish’s international status and national devotion, relentlessly upholding his message of freedom and authenticity. It was built by a public fund- raising campaign, the aim of which was to give the Palestinian community the chance to contribute to building this cultural space. It was also intended to demonstrate to Palestinians that Mahmoud Darwish belongs to them, and they belong to Mahmoud Darwish..
The place includes:
- The Museum: Aims to exhibit some of Darwish’s belongings, his published works, and some of his original poetry manuscripts, including the original handwritten text of the Declaration of Independence of Palestine. In a prominent corner of the museum stands Darwish’s writing desk, chair, and behind them an exact duplicate of his window at the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center. Several awards and certificates adorn the back wall of his office. It has also a big video screen plays his recitals. There is also a display panel of book spines takes the visitor through all of Darwish’s volumes of poetry and prose spanning more than years of creativity.
- Galilee Hall: It’s designed to host poetry readings, lectures, discussion meetings, artistic, and cultural events. It can be used as one big hall or divided into two or three smaller meeting rooms.
- The Monument: The tombstone where Darwish is buried, rises high, engraved with his eternal words and adorned with flowers. The museum and multipurpose hall bow respectfully forming the two sides of a book-cover telling the story of his journey at one end and continuing his legacy at the other.
- The Outdoor Theater: Located on the right side of Darwish’s mausoleum . It can host more than five hundred persons. It has a podium, and equipped with light and sound systems, creating a venue for cultural and artistic events.
- The Speaker Corner: It is an open platform dedicated to freedom of speech, art, and literature. This place is available to anyone who wants to present or express his/her opinion. It reflects the core value of freedom of speech that Darwish emphasized through his life.
- The Garden: It was designed to match the hilly topography of the area with stone stairs, water spaces and stone-garden terraces. The sides of the garden contain aisles and recreational areas that mirror the beauty of Palestinian countryside.
This cultural space was designed by the architect Jafar Touqan, and it has disability access facilitation
What we do
Our vision is to create a museum that plays an active role in the cultural life of Palestine, a museum that is a welcoming, inspirational and innovative destination to all visitors, as well a center for all innovators and amateur talents in Palestine. We want to collaborate with our Palestinian community to develop the cultural scene. Our target is the marginalized sectors of the society, we want to give voice to the voiceless, and to support them to access the cultural life in Palestine. We also work on developing a partnerships that extend the Museum’s network and profile nationally and internationally.
Mission of the Museum:
- Collecting and preserving Mahmoud Darwish’s cultural, literary and intellectual legacy.
- Organizing and fostering cultural, literary, humanitarian, artistic, and media activities.
- Promoting cultural values that strengthen Palestinian local community, and supporting talented youth.
- Spreading Darwish’s message of freedom and authenticity by setting up several projects of cultural enlightenment that recruit and train Palestinian community to welcome new talents and encourage marginalized sectors to contribute to the culture movement we wish to revive.
- contributing to the intercultural learning among Palestinian people by organizing and hosting shows for foreign performers and intellectuals in which new cultures are present and available in a way that may narrow the gap among Westerns and Arabs in general.