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Nazik Al-Malaika

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Nazik Al-Malaika
Bornنازك الملائكة
(1923-08-23)August 23, 1923
Baghdad, Kingdom of Iraq
(present-day Iraq)
DiedJune 20, 2007(2007-06-20) (aged 83)
Cairo, Egypt

Nazik al-Malaika (Arabic: نازك الملائكة; 23 August 1923 – 20 June 2007[1]) was an Iraqi poet. Al-Malaika is noted for being among the first Arabic poets to use free verse.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Al-Malaika was born in Baghdad to a cultured family.[3] Her mother Salma al-Malaika was also a poet, and her father was a teacher. She wrote her first poem at the age of 10.[2] During her life, she studied English and French literature, Latin, and Greek poetry.[4] Al-Malaika graduated in 1944 from the College of Arts in Baghdad and later completed a master's degree in comparative literature at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a Degree of Excellence.[5] She entered the Institute of Fine Arts and graduated from the Department of Music in 1949. In 1959 she earned a Master of Arts in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the United States, and she was appointed professor at the University of Baghdad, the University of Basrah, and Kuwait University.


Al-Malaika taught at a number of schools and universities, most notably at the University of Mosul.

Leaving Iraq[edit]

Al-Malaika left Iraq in 1970 with her husband Abdel Hadi Mahbooba and family, following the rise of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party of Iraq to power. She lived in Kuwait until Saddam Hussein's invasion in 1990. Al-Malaika and her family left for Cairo, where she lived for the rest of her life. Towards the end of her life, al-Malaika suffered from a number of health issues, including Parkinson's disease.[2]

She died in Cairo in 2007 at the age of 83.[1]


  • "The Nights Lover" (عاشقة الليل), her first book of poetry, after her graduation;
  • "The Cholera" (الكوليرا) (1947) is considered by critics as a revolution in modern Arabic poetry;
  • "Shrapnel and Ashes" (شظايا ورماد) (1949);
  • "Bottom of the Wave" (قرارة الموجة) (1957);
  • "Tree of the Moon" (شجرة القمر) (1968);
  • "The sea changes its color" ("يغير ألوانه البحر")(1977)[6]

Influence on other artists[edit]

One of her poems, Medinat al Hub, inspired the Iraqi artist and scholar, Issam al-Said to produce an artwork with the same name.[7]

Translation in other languages[edit]


Emily Drumsta translated a selection of Al-Malaika's poems into English, collected in a book titled Revolt Under The Sun.[8]


Some of Al-Malaika's poems were translated into Nepali by Suman Pokhrel, and collected along with the works of other poets in an anthology titled Manpareka Kehi Kavita.[9][10][11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b International Herald Tribune
  2. ^ a b c AP via The Guardian, "Iraq Poet Nazik Al-Malaika Dies at 85" June 21, 2007
  3. ^ Mudar Ahmed Abdulsattar (1949). "‫‬رسائل نازك الملائكة الى المربية الفاضلة اديبة محمد سعيد الهلالي رحمهما الله 1949 - 1950". Unpublished. doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.11611.46880. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Mohammed, Amthal (April 2020). "Nazik Al-Malaika: Perusals and Translations". Retrieved 2023-05-06.
  5. ^ aljazeera.net flash
  6. ^ Maquis Who's Who, 2006 "Nazik Al-Malaika" and Guardian Op Cit.
  7. ^ Chorbachi, S., Issam El-Said: Artist and Scholar, Issam El-Said Foundation, 1989, p. 88
  8. ^ Al-Malaika, Nazik; Drumsta, Emily (29 October 2020). Revolt Under The Sun: The Selected Poetry of Nazik Al-Mala'ika: A Bilingual Reader. Saqi (published 2020). ISBN 978-0863563522.
  9. ^ Akhmatova, Anna; Świrszczyńska, Anna; Ginsberg, Allen; Agustini, Delmira; Farrokhzad, Forough; Mistral, Gabriela; Jacques, Jacques; Mahmoud, Mahmoud; Al-Malaika, Nazik; Hikmet, Nazim; Qabbani, Nizar; Paz, Octavio; Neruda, Pablo; Plath, Sylvia; Amichai, Yehuda (2018). Manpareka Kehi Kavita मनपरेका केही कविता [Some Poems of My Choice] (in Nepali). Translated by Pokhrel, Suman (First ed.). Kathmandu: Shikha Books. p. 174.
  10. ^ "म र मेरो म (Nepali translation of Anna Swir's poem "Myself and My Person")".
  11. ^ "भित्तामा टाउको बजारेँ मैले (Nepali translation of Anna Swir's poem "I Knocked My Head against the Wall")".
  12. ^ Tripathi, Geeta (2018). "अनुवादमा 'मनपरेका केही कविता'" [Manpareka Kehi Kavita in Translation]. Kalashree. pp. 358–359. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)


External links[edit]