Ali Ahmad Said ( born January 1, 1930 in Qassabin at Latakia in northern Syria as Ali Ahmad Esber; Arabic علي أحمد سعيد, ʿ Alī Aḥmad Sa ʿ DMG īd ), who published under his pen name Adonis ( أدونيس ), is a Syrian- Lebanese poet and intellectual.


Said was born in Qassabin in northern Syria. He concluded after visiting a French-language secondary schools in Tartu in 1954 to study at the University of Damascus Syrian.

In 1955 he was imprisoned for his membership in the Syrian Social Nationalist Party ( SSNP ) for half a year. After that he settled with his wife in Lebanon, where he in 1957 along with Yusuf al - Khal and other renowned writers avant-garde literary magazine Schi'r ( "Poetry " ) issued. In 1960 he participated in the Lebanese citizenship. In 1973 he graduated from the Université Saint -Joseph in Beirut. In the following years he taught in spite of the early Lebanese civil war both at the Université Saint -Joseph, as well as at the State University Libanaise in Beirut. Since 1985 he has lived in exile in Paris. In the academic years 1998/1999 and 2001/2002 Adonis was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin; During this time he worked on the poem cycle Al Kitab (the book ).

Adonis is probably the most important Arab poet of our time. By resorting to classical Arabic poets, who often did not know any taboos and were critical towards religion, he is trying to revive this new openness. Besides his poems, he aroused by his critical essays again and again stir in the Arab world.

Works in German translation

  • The songs Mihâyrs of Damascene, Poems 1958-1965. translated from the Arabic and edited by Stefan Weidner; Ammann Verlag, 1998.
  • A grave for New York, Poems 1965-1971. translated from the Arabic and edited by Stefan Weidner; Ammann Verlag, Zurich 2004, ISBN 3-250-10477-9.
  • Culture and democracy. essays; Upper Tree Publishing, 2001.
  • Revolt in the Arab poetry. essays; Upper Tree Publishing, 1997.
  • Prayer and sword. Essays, Upper Tree Publishing, 1994.
  • Seal and desert. Essays, Upper Tree Publishing, 1994.
  • Under the light of the time. Correspondence with Dimitri T. Analis; translated from the French by Peter Handke; The young and young Verlag, 2001.
  • The tree of the Orient. Translated from Arabic by Suleman Taufiq, foreword by As'ad Khairallah, Orient Edition, 1989, ISBN 3-922825-36-2.
  • Transformations of a lover. S. Fischer Verlag. Frankfurt am Main, 2011. ISBN 978-3-10-000631-8.
  • "Word Song". From poetry to revolution, from the Arabic by Rafael Sanchez, ed. and with a foreword by Stefan Weidner, S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-10-000630-1.


  • 2001 Goethe Medal
  • 2005 "Premio internazionale di poesia Gabriele d' Annunzio "
  • 2011 Goethe Prize of the city of Frankfurt am Main
  • 2013 Petrarch Prize