Best of Mahmoud Darwish published in “Almond Blossoms and Beyond”

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Interlink Publishing Group, Inc.
46 Crosby Street • Northampton MA 01060-1804
Tel: (413) 582 7054 • Fax: (413) 582 7057
Publicity Contact: Moira Megargee, extension 202 •

Almond Blossoms and Beyond
by Mahmoud Darwish
translated by Mohammad Shaheen

“A brilliant poet—certainly the most gifted of his generation in the Arab world.”
—Edward Said

Almond Blossoms and Beyond is one of the last collections of poetry that the internationally acclaimed Palestinian exile poet Mahmoud Darwish left to the world. Composed of brief lyric poems and the magnificent sustained Exile cycle, Almond Blossoms and Beyond holds an important place in Darwish’s unparalleled oeuvre. It distills his late style, in which, though the specter of death looms and weddings turn to funerals, he threads the pulses and fragilities and beauties of life into the lines of his poems. Their liveliness is his own response to the collection’s final call to bid “Farewell / Farewell, to the poetry of pain.”

Mahmoud Darwish, (1941–2008) born in the village of al-Birweh, Palestine, authored over two dozen volumes of poetry and prose. When he died last summer, he was mourned throughout the world as the voice of the Palestinian people and the author of their official declaration of independence, and most importantly, a poet of the highest invention and beauty.
Mohammad Shaheen holds a PhD in English literature from Cambridge University. He is a professor of English at the University of Jordan where he teaches literary criticism, 20th-Century English, and Comparative Literature. He is the author of many articles and books, including E.M. Forster and the Politics of Imperialism and The Modern Arabic Short Story: Shahrazad Returns.
Almond Blossoms and Beyond
by Mahmoud Darwish, translated by Mohammad Shaheen
Interlink Books, an imprint of Interlink Publishing Group, Inc.
Poetry • 6” x 9” • 128 pages
ISBN 978-1-56656-755-8 • $25.00 hardback

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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