Iraq inaugurates rehabilitated museum of iconic poet Al-Jawahiri
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi on Saturday inaugurated the revitalized museum of the country’s iconic poet and journalist Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahiri in capital Baghdad.
Known as Al-Jawahiri’s house, the venue was approved by the municipal authorities in 2018 to be turned into a museum.
The premier along with cultural and local officials toured the newly rehabilitated cultural center, where it showcases the collections of the writer’s poems as well as his personal belongings.
Born in July 1899 in the southern Iraqi province of Najaf, the poet led the first Iraqi Union of Writers and Syndicate of Journalists in Iraq before being forced by the Ba’athist regime in the 1970s to leave his homeland. He later resettled in Syria until his death in 1997.
As a leading cultural figure, Al-Jawahiri penned numerous patriotic poems for his country as well as the poor segment of the society.
In a poem titled Lullaby for the Hungry, the writer says:
Sleep, You hungry people, sleep!
The gods of food watch over you.
Sleep, if you are not satiated
By wakefulness, then sleep shall fill you.
He was also deeply conscious of the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and liberty in Iraq. “Kurdistan is the Land of Heroes” is one of the poet’s pieces that is now part of the Kurdish school curriculum.
Up until his death, Al-Jawahiri was wearing a headdress, on which “Yan Kurdistan Yan Naman” was sewed, meaning either a free Kurdistan or death.
The Kurdistan Region’s capital Erbil and Sulaimani province both host statues of the great intellectual.