Nazik Al-Malaika


Nazik Al-Mala’ika
(نازك الملائكة‎) is a famous female writer, poet and critic from Iraq. Nazik was born in Baghdad in 1922 to a literary family. Both her parents wrote poetry. Her father (صادق الملائكة‎) was a famous Iraqi poet and writer who edited a 20 volume encyclopedia. Her mother wrote poetry under the pseudonym (أم نزار الملائكة). Nazik’s upbringing in a literary household encouraged her to start writing poetry at a very early age. She wrote her first poem at the age of 10.

Nazik was trained as a teacher of Arabic and graduated in 1944 in Baghdad. After that, she obtained a degree in music in 1949, and an MA in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin in the USA in 1959. Later, she worked as a lecturer at the University of Baghdad and the University of Basra where she met her husband. Nazik knew Arabic, English, French German and Latin.

Nazik published some poems in newspapers and magazines during her university study, and she published her first poetry book in 1947 under the title  “she who loves the night”. Nazik’s poetry is very sad, and deals with topics like death, disillusion, illness, etc. One of her best-known poems is  ‘Cholera’, which is written in free verse. She liked to write religious and moralistic poetry. In addition, she translated poems by Byron, Thomas Gray and others.

Nazik is considered one of the most influential literary writers in the Arab world, and she is said to be among the first Arab poets to use free verse .She is also a very respectable critic . who contributed very important literary criticisms, e.g. “Issues of Contemporary Poetry” and “Psychology of Poetry". Nazik is also an advocate of women’s rights.

Al-Malaika left Iraq in 1970 with her husband Abdel Hadi Mahbooba and family following the rise of the Baath Party to power. She lived in Kuwait until Saddam Hussein invaded that country in 1990. Al-Malaika and her family left for Cairo where she lived for the rest of her life. Towards the end of her life, Al-Malaika suffered from a number of health issues including Parkinson's disease.

She died in Cairo, Egypt in 2007 at the age of 84.

(From & Wikipedia)

Publications: (Arabic)

  • `Ashiqat Al-Layl, 1947
  • Shazaya wa ramad, 1949
  • 'Al-mar'a baina 'ltarafain, al-salbiyya wa 'l-akh-laq', 1953
  • 'Al-tajzi'iyya fi 'l-mujtama' al-Arabi', 1954
  • Qar?rat al-mawya, 1957
  • Qadaya 'l-shi'r al-mu'asir, 1962
  • Al-Sawma'a wal-Shurfa Al-Hamraa, 1965
  • Sha?arat al-qamar, 1968
  • Ma's?t al-hay?t wa ugniya li-l-ins?n, 1970
  • Al-ta?zi'iyya fi-l-mu?tama' al-'arabi, 1974
  • Yugayyir alw?na-hu l-bahr, 1976
  • Li-l-salat wa-l-tawra, 1978
  • Sykolojia Al-Shi'r, 1979
  • Youghiyar Alouanah Al-Bahr, 1999
  • Al-Aamal Al-Nathriya Al-Kamila, 2002 (2 vols.)
  • Al-Aamal Al-Shi'riya Al-Kamila, 2002


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