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Tawfiq Zayyad

Poet, politician, voice of resistance.

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Date of Birth:



Nazareth, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

A dedicated poet and activist, Zayyad embodied the Palestinian spirit through literature and politics, significantly influencing Palestinian national identity and activism.

Brief bio

Tawfiq Zayyad was a Palestinian literary and political icon who spent four decades as a communist activist. His work and life mirrored the collective Palestinian struggle, balancing revolutionary prose with pragmatic politics, and advocating for Palestinian rights.

Major Milestones


  • 1940s: Immersed in anti-colonialist efforts as a teenager, Zayyad was drawn to Marxism and the Palestinian national cause.

  • 1954: Arrested and faced repression for his political activities, including being beaten and tortured.

  • 1975: Elected as the mayor of Nazareth, highlighting his leadership in the Palestinian community.

  • 1976: Led a nationwide strike against land confiscation on March 30, which later became known as Land Day, an event of significant importance to Palestinians globally.

  • Literature: Published influential poetry collections, like "I Shake Your Hands, Fervently" in 1966, using poetry as a tool for political expression and mobilization...See More

  • Education and Community Work: Promoted education and political awareness by making literary resources accessible and fostering a strong working-class movement in Nazareth...See More

  • National Identity: Played a pivotal role in shaping the Palestinian national identity...See More

Date of Last Update: 
December 15, 2023

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