Adonis, or Adunis, is the alias of the Syrian-Lebanese poet Ali Ahmad Said. Said was born in a poor farming community in the village of Qassabin near Latakia in Syria where his family belonged to the Alawite minority. He went to school in Tartos and Latakia and later read philosophy at the University of Damascus. He spent one year as a political prisoner and left Syria in 1956 when he moved to Lebanon with his wife; he became a Lebanese citizen in 1961. In 1957, he founded the influential literary periodical Shi'r (Poetry) together with the poet Yusuf al-Khal. Ten years later he founded Mawaqif, an outspoken, groundbreaking magazine for contemporary Arab poetry.
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