Baghdad to erect a new statue for Iraq’s prominent poet Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahiri
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Local cultural authorities in the Iraqi capital Baghdad have discussed plans to build a new statue for the country’s renowned poet Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahiri in the city, according to an official.
The project is part of the government’s efforts to revitalize the capital’s public squares and ancient houses, Fakher Mohammad, the director of the Public Arts Department in the Ministry of Culture, told the state media INA on Thursday.
The statue will be placed near the Tigris River, the official added.
Born in 1899 in Najaf city, Al-Jawahiri has penned numerous collections of poems, which have remained alive among much of the Arab world to this day.
He was also the first head of the Iraqi Union of Writers and Syndicate of Journalists. Following the Ba’athist coup, he was expelled from his homeland in the 1970s. He remained in Syria until his death in 1997.
Al-Jawahiri was not only a favorite poet for the Arab lovers of literature. For writing a sympathetic poem, titled “Kurdistan is the Land of Heroes”, about the Kurdish struggle for liberty, the cultural icon is highly respected among the people in the Kurdistan Region.
Both Erbil and Sulaimani provinces have statues of the writer.
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.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi on Saturday inaugurated the renovated house of Al-Jawahiri in Baghdad’s Al-Qadisya neighborhood, where he spent much of his time while he was in Iraq. The house now serves as a museum and cultural center.
Read More: Iraq inaugurates rehabilitated museum of iconic poet Al-Jawahiri
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.