Beydoun, Abbas (Bayḏūn, ʿAbbās) (1945--) By Tramontini, Leslie
Abbas Beydoun is one of Lebanon’s most famous poets and writers, and one of the most outstanding and important intellectuals in the Arab world. He was born in Tyre, Lebanon, in 1945. He attended secondary school there, before moving to Beirut to study Arabic Literature at the Arab University. Politically active since 1968, he worked for extremist-leftist papers in Beirut and was arrested and put in prison several times for his political activities. During the Lebanese Civil War of 1975-1990, he started working as a school teacher in Tyre and Sidon, and then had to flee the country because of his Communist connections. He migrated to France, where in the 1970s he studied at the Sorbonne and received his diploma (DEA). After his return to Beirut he joined the Lebanese daily As-Safir, then moved on to the other dailies Al-Hayat and Al-Nahar before returning to As-Safir in the year 1997 for good, as editor in chief for the cultural section, a position he still holds. Beydoun is one of Lebanon’s most famous poets and intellectuals, with impact far beyond Lebanon. Apart from journalistic essays, literary criticism, and poetry, have which made him a household name, he has made a late-in-life debut as a novelist.