Yahya Hassan

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Yahya Hassan
201510 Yahya Hassan.jpg
Born (1995-05-19) 19 May 1995 (age 24)
Aarhus, Denmark
Notable works"Yahya Hassan"[1]

Yahya Hassan (born 19 May 1995) is a Danish poet and politician of Palestinian descent, notable for his criticism of Islam, which attracted attention and stirred debate about Islam's place in Denmark.[2][3]

His most notable work, Yahya Hassan, as of 2013 was the best-selling debut poetry collection in Denmark, and has been printed in more than 120,000 copies (middle of 2015).[4]

On April 7, 2015, Hassan announced that he had joined the newly formed Danish political party, Nationalpartiet.[5]

On February 9, 2016, leader of Nationalpartiet Kashif Ahmad announced that Hassan was forced to leave the party,[6] after being arrested for driving under the influence of illegal drugs.[7]

Early life[edit]

Yahya Hassan was born to a family of Muslim Palestinian immigrants, who had fled to Lebanon due to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and who moved to Denmark in the 1980s.[8] He was born in Aarhus V, a problematic immigrant district of the city of Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark and the country's main port. There Yahya grew up in a religious environment, but soon abandoned religion. He was institutionalised for juvenile delinquency in Solhaven in Farsø, where educators supported his literary talent. Then aged 16, Hassan had an affair with 38-year-old educator Louise Østergaard, which led to Østergaard's dismissal and divorce.[3][9][10] Hassan attended a "Rap Academy" and various workshops for creative writing. [11]

Publications and reception[edit]

He published a first volume with Brønderslev Forfatterskole Et godt sted at dø ("a good place to die") in 2011, but became widely known in Denmark with his Islam-critical volume published with the reputable Gyldendal publishing house, in 2013.

Literary scholar Tue Andersen Nexø described Hassan's longer works as "almost Walt Whitman-like."[3] The volume was a best-seller and received favourable criticism, and his readings (done in an idiosyncratic style) are well-attended.[12]

The poems are concerned with his upbringing in the "ghetto" of Aarhus V, with attacks on his parents' generation and on Islam. This has resulted in criticism and death threats on the part of Danish Muslims, and Hassan was placed under police protection.[13] Odense city library cancelled a planned reading due to the threat of attacks.[14] The cancellation led to a parliamentary debate in the Folketing, on Islamist threats impinging on the freedom of speech in Denmark.[15]

Also in November 2013, Hassan was assaulted and injured by another Danish citizen of Palestinian descent, one Isaac Meyer, born Abdul Basit Abu-Lifa, who had a previous conviction for terrorism. Meyer had received a seven-year sentence in the 2005 Glostrup Terrorists Case, but had been released on parole in 2010. The attacker was convicted for assault.[16]

November 8, 2019, the poetry collection YAHYA HASSAN 2 was published, again to general critical acclaim.[17]


  • Et godt sted at dø ("a good place to die"), Brønderslev Forfatterskole, 2011, ISBN 978-87-993537-3-6
  • Yahya Hassan : Digte, Gyldendal, 2013, ISBN 978-87-02-15352-1
    • German translation: Yahya Hassan (2014). Yahya Hassan: Gedichte. Ullstein Buchverlage. ISBN 978-3-8437-0872-2.
    • Italian translation: Yahya Hassan (2014). Yahya Hassan. Translated by Bruno Berni. Rizzoli. ISBN 978-88-17-07542-8.
    • Polish translation Yahya Hassan (2015). Yahya Hassan. Wiersze. Translated by Bogusława Sochańska. Instytut Kultury Miejskiej, słowo/obraz terytoria. ISBN 9788364610349.


  1. ^ "Danish Teen Poet and Muslim Critic Yahya Hassan Assaulted by Convicted Terrorist". International Business Times. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
  2. ^ "Danish rap poet Yahya Hassan faces racism charge for knocking Muslims". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  3. ^ a b c "Poet Sparks New Debate on Islam in Denmark". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  4. ^ Anders Hjort (16 December 2013). "Rekord: Yahya Hassan runder de 100.000". Politiken (in Danish).
  5. ^ Rasmus Dam Nielsen (8 April 2015). "Et døgn med Yahya Hassan: Nationalpartiet mærker kendiseffekten". Politiken (in Danish).
  6. ^ Nikoline, Vestergaard. "Yahya Hassan: Fra digter-debutant til politisk udstødt". Danmarks Radio. Danmarks Radio. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  7. ^ Ritzau, Ritzau. "Avis: Yahya Hassan anholdt for narkokørsel". Berlingske Tidne. Berlingske. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Yahya Hassan i Deadline 2. Sektion". DR2. Retrieved 2014-11-26.
  9. ^ "Danish rap poet Yahya Hassan faces racism charge for knocking Muslims". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  10. ^ Østergaard published a novel Ord ("Words") discussing the affair. Sandra Brovall (2014-01-19). "Yahya Hassans kontaktperson udgiver bog med slet skjulte hentydninger" (in Danish). Politiken. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  11. ^ Forfatterskolen - Oversigt over elever (forfatterskolen.dk) 2013-10-23 Opgang2 und Søren Marcussen (2013-02-08). "Himlen Over Os - Yahya Hassan". Opgang2. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  12. ^ Mikkel Andersson (28 November 2013). "Yahya er blevet til alles lille Hassan". Politiken (in Danish).
  13. ^ PET involveret i digters sikkerhed Danmarks Radio | 2013-10-22. "Yahya Hassan: De råber, jeg skal dø". TV 2 Nyhederne. 2013-11-19. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  14. ^ Anders Borup Sørensen (2013-11-21). "Vollsmose Bibliotek aflyser Yahya Hassan-foredrag" (in Danish). TV 2. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  15. ^ Paragraf-20 spørgsmål:
  16. ^ Astrid Søndberg (19 November 2013). "Yahya Hassan after assault: They do not care about poetry". TV2 Denmark (in Danish).; Gianluca Mezzofiore, Danish Teen Poet and Muslim Critic Yahya Hassan Assaulted by Convicted Terrorist, International Business Times, 20 November 2013. The attacker received a five-months sentence for assault. The defense argued that the attack was triggered by provocative "contemptuous staring" on the part of Hassan i the sense of a "completely spontaneous incident" (fuldstændig spontan hændelse), but the judge considered it likely that the attacker recognized Hassan and the attack was motivated by his perception of the poet as an "infidel" (vantro). Mand idømmes fem måneders fængsel for overfaldet på Yahya Hassan, Politiken, 9 December 2013.
  17. ^ Jakob Lyders Tarpgaard (8 November 2019). "'Smashing good' and 'back in town': Reviewers love Yahya Hassan's new poems". DR Denmark (in Danish).

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