Mustafa Wahbi Tal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Mustafa Wahbi)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Mustafa Wahbi Tal
Arar in 1930
Arar in 1930
BornMustafa Wahbi Saleh Tal
(1897-05-25)May 25, 1897
Irbid, Ottoman Empire
DiedMay 24, 1949(1949-05-24) (aged 51)
Irbid, Jordan
Pen name'Arar
OccupationLawyer, judge, teacher, writer
LanguageArabic, English, Turkish
GenrePoetry, essay, philosophical literature, social commentary, translation
Notable worksAshiyyat Wadi Al-Yabis, Arar Political Papers, Al 'A'imma Fe Quraish, Bil Rafah Wal Banin, translation of Khayyam's famous quatrain to Arabic


Mustafa Wahbi Tal (Arabic: مصطفى وهبي التل‎; May 1897 – 24 May 1949), was a Jordanian poet, lawyer and judge.

Born in Irbid, Tal was imprisoned and exiled several times by the Ottoman Empire for his political activism. He found employment as a teacher in Al-Karak, until he was appointed governor of the Shoubak/Wadi Musa region in 1929. He earned a law degree in 1930, and was appointed district attorney of Al-Salt in 1939. Tal died in 1949.

Tal, who later was known by his pseudonym Arrar, was the most renowned Jordanian poet among Arab readers. Jordan's most illustrious literary award is named after him.[1]

Life history[edit]

Arar was born Mustafa Saleh Mustafa Yousef Tal in the city of Irbid in Jordan during the Ottoman Empire era. A second name, "Wahbi," was added to his birth name per the Western tradition imported via the Ottoman Turks. Jordan was at that time a part of the Ottoman Empire referred to as the Levant.

He finished his elementary school education in Irbid in 1911. In 1912, Arar registered in a school in Damascus called the Anbur School, which was named after a Damascan Jew who founded it. Arar's father was an alumnus school. Before the end of the school year, however, he was exiled with some other Jordanian students to Beirut, Lebanon, by the Ottoman authorities. He returned to Anbur School from exile in 1913 or 1914, and then visited Irbid during 1915. In 1917, while in tenth grade, he visited Istanbul for six months, which was during World War I. During this time he also got married to Setteh Jaber Marashdeh.

In 1917 or 1918, he was exiled again to Beirut, for political activism. From 1919 to 1920, he participated in a demonstration and gets expelled once again from Anbur School to Aleppo, Syria. He earned his high school diploma from the Madrasat Tajheez Halab in Aleppo.

Following completion of his high-school education, he found employment as a teacher of Arabic literature in Al Karak in 1922. He was, however, fired from his job in 1923 and was first exiled to Ma'an, then Aqaba, and then Jeddah. On his return from exile in 1924 he began his long-lasting relationship with the Gypsy community in Mandatory Palestine.

Arar was appointed a local governor to the Shoubak/Wadi Mousa district in 1929. In 1930, he earned a law degree and license to practice as a lawyer. In spring of 1931 he was exiled to Aqaba for his political dissent and calling for political changes. In 1939 he became the District attorney of Salt, Jordan.

In 1941, Arar spent ninety days in prison for his political views. By this time he had become a heavy drinker and his alcoholism became apparent. In 1943, he represented the Fellaheen (i.e., peasantry) in court during a bloody feud with the Zou'bi tribe in Ramtha.

Arar died in 1949. His hometown of Irbid holds an annual poetry festival and Jordan's most prestigious literary award is named after him.

Arar is the father of Wasfi Tal who was a prime minister of Jordan for three separate terms.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jeffrey Zuehlke (2005). "Jordan in Pictures". Retrieved 28 November 2018.

External links[edit]