Muhammad al-Maghut

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Muhammad al-Maghout
محمد الماغوط
Born 1934
Salamiyah, Syria
Died 3 April 2006 (aged 72)
Damascus, Syria
Occupation poet, playwright
Language Arabic
Nationality Syrian
Notable works A Room with Million Walls
East of Eden, West of God

Muhammad al-Maghout (1934- April 3, 2006) (Arabic: محمد الماغوط‎) was a renowned Syrian writer and poet.

He was born in the town of Salamiyah of Hama Governorate in Syria to an Ismaili family.

Muhammad Maghout was credited as the father of the Arabic free verse poetry, liberating the Arabic poems from the traditional form and revolutionizing the structure of the poem. He wrote for theater, TV and cinema. Maghout's work combined satire with descriptions of social misery and malaise, ulol what he viewed as an ethical decline among rulers in the region. Some of his themes included the problems of injustice and totalitarian governments. He co-operated with Syrian actors Dureid Lahham and Nihad Qal'i to produce some of the region's most popular and acclaimed theatrical works, such as Kasak ya Watan (Toast to the homeland) and Ghorbeh (Estrangement).

Al-Maghout was also known for his book "I will betray my homeland", a collection of essays.

Al-Maghout died at the age of 72 in April 2006.


"Policemen, Interpol men everywhere; you search for the perfect crime... there is only one perfect crime; to be born an Arab."

"I am the one who has not been killed yet at war, by earthquake or street accident."



  • 1959: Sadness in the moon light (Huzn fi daw when qamar)
  • 1964: A room with millions of walls (Gurfa bi malayin al-judrán)
  • 1970: Joy is not my profession (Al-farah laysa mihnati)
  • 2001: The rose slayer ("Sayaf al-zohour")
  • 2005: East of Eden, West of God (" Sharq Adan, Gharb alaah")
  • 2006: The red bedouin ("Al-badawi al-ahmar")


  • I will betray my homeland "Sa akhoun watani" A best seller collection of assays that transcends time and location
  • The rape of "Kana" and her sisters "Igtisab kana wa akhawateha" is a collection of quotes and interviews by Al-Maghout. (Kana and her sisters are Arabic words that refer to the past tense.)


  • The hunchback bird (Al-ousfour al ahdab)
  • The clown (Al-mouharej)
  • Tishreen's village (Dayat tishreen)
  • Exile (Ghourbeh)
  • Toast to the homeland (Kasak ya watan)
  • The Poppy Anemone (Shaqaeq al-nomaan)
  • Outside the flock (kharej al-sareb)


  • The night tales (Hakaya al-lyl)
  • Where is the mistake (Wayn al-ghalat)
  • The musk valley (wady al misk)
  • Good morning (sah el nawm)


  • The borders (Al-hodoud )
  • The report (Al-taqreer)


  • Joy is not My Profession, translated by John Asfour and Alison Burch (Signal Editions, Montreal, 1994)


  • 2005: Prize for Poetry – Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation.
  • 2000: Medal of the Experimental Theater – Cairo.
  • 1973: Prize of Said Aql of Theater.
  • 1950: Prize For Poetry – An-Nahar Newspaper.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kociejowski, Marius "The Street Philosopher and the Holy Fool: A Syrian Journey" (Sutton, 2004; new edition by Eland Books in 2016) contains an account of a meeting with the poet pp. 216–224

External links[edit]