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Born in 1923 in Damascus, Nizar Qabbani is considered one of the greatest and most popular poets of the Arab world. Having received a law degree in 1945, he served in the Syrian foreign service until 1966, when he resigned. He then took up residence in Beirut, and later in Switzerland. Qabbani began writing poetry at the age of sixteen, and his first complete collection was published in 1956. Highly prolific and with more than forty publications, he is famous for both his erotic love poetry as well as his political poetry. Much of his more famous work has been translated into English, and these translations include Republic of Love (2003) and On Entering the Sea (1996). Qabbani died in London in 1998.