The Passing of Unsi al-Haj

The Lebanese poet Unsi al-Hajj passed away on February 18, 2014. No one who cared about Arab and Lebanese letters could be unaware of Unsi al-Hajj's contributions. He distinguished himself as a modernist poet (especially by his association with the avant-garde journal Shi’ir--"Poetry"), art and cultural critic, essayist, and editor of what used to be one of Lebanon's most important dailies, An Nahar. He closed his career writing for the polemical pro-Hezbollah and pro-Assad regime Al Akhbar newspaper in which his silence on Syria's crimes against humanity perplexed many of his admirers.

In 2000, Unsi al-Hajj sent Al Jadid a gracious letter in which he expressed appreciation of our publication of one of his famous poems, "Clouds," which was translated by Professor Issa J. Boullata (Al Jadid, Vol. 6, no. 31, Spring 2000). To read the short excerpt of "Clouds," please click on the link below.

 -- E. Chalala