Mowaffk Al-Sawad 

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Mowaffk Al-Sawad
© Bart FM Droog, 2002


Mowaffk Al-Sawad was born on a fresh Spring morning on the first day of March 1971, in the city of Basra in Southern Iraq. At the end of the First Gulf War, early 1991, he rose up, like so many other Iraqi's, against Saddam Hussein, and after foreign support proved absent he had to flee the country to save himself. From 1991 until 1994 he lived, together with lots of other Iraqi's, in a refugee camp in the desert of Saudi-Arabia – forgotten by the world. Until someone from one of these camps managed to escape and contact the BBC World Service to tell them about these 'forgotten'refugees. In 1994 he was granted asylum in The Netherlands. Mowaffk Al-Sawad is a poet and playwright. He was editor of the book Wereldplaatje (Picture of the World), published by Uitgeverij Passage in November 2000. This is an anthology of work by foreign writers living in The Netherlands. Al-Sawad writes in Arabic.

He promotes Arabic literature and culture as organiser for Groningen's Kunstencentrum (Cultural Centre) and as presenter of the radio programme Malomat for Groningen's OOG-radio. In March 2002 he won the literary prize of the centre for Arabic art and culture, El Hizrja, for two of his poems.

In 2002 Bornmeer publishers in the province of Friesland published his debut, Een middag wit als melk. Iraakse gedichten (An afternoon as white as milk. Iraqi poems). Translation: Tsead Bruinja and Jan Tekelenburg. In October 2002 his first novel Stemmen onder de zon (Voices under the sun) appeared with Uitgeverij Passage, about his years in the camp. After a 13-year absence and the recent Second Gulf War, he now intends to return to his hometown of Basra, to visit his family.

Browse for more information about Mowaffk Al-Sawad and you should also visit his own site:


Mowaffk Al-Sawad:


Uitgeverij Passage
Postbus 216
9700 AE  Groningen
The Netherlands
tel: 00-31-(0)50-527.13.32


Stichting Schrijvers School Samenleving
Huddestraat 7
1018 HB  Amsterdam
tel: 00-31-(0)20-623.49.23


This page is part of the daily poetry newspaper: Rottend Staal Online


© translation Willem Groenewegen / Rottend Staal Online 2003. All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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