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Palestinian national poet and writer Mahmoud Darwish is expected to take part in a literary event in Haifa, for the first time since leaving Israel more than 35 years ago.

Hadash Secretary Iman Ouda told Haaretz on Monday that the Defense Ministry has permitted Darwish to attend a poetry rectical at Mt. Carmel Auditorium on July 15.

Hadash said the event, held jointly with Masharaf magazine, will focus on the poet and his work. Darwish worked and wrote in Haifa for many years.

Darwish was born in 1941 in the village of Al-Birwah, which was destroyed in 1948. His family stayed in Lebanon briefly as refugees and then returned to the village of Jedida in the Galilee. Darwish lived in Israel until 1971, when he left for Moscow to take a course given by the Communist Party. He did not return to Israel to live, probably due to persecution by the establishment.

In exile Darwish became known as Palestine's national poet. After the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, he returned to Ramallah. He has visited his family several times in Israel since the early '90s and even participated in various events organized by the Israel Communist Party (Maki) and Hadash in the '90s. In 1996 he attended the funeral of former MK Emil Habibi, who left Maki to form Rakah.

Darwish has published more than 30 volumes of poetry and eight books of prose and has served as the editor of several publications, including Al-Jadid, Al-Fajr, Shu'un filistiniyya and Al-Karmel. He is recognized internationally for his poetry, which focuses on his strong love for his lost homeland. His work has won numerous awards and has been published in at least 22 languages.

Darwish recently published poems sharply protesting the Palestinians' situation in the territories following Hamas' takeover the Gaza Strip.