The Federation Wallonia-Brussels, the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) and BOZAR have joined forces to pay homage to the poet Mahmoud Darwish, who passed away in 2008.
Founded in 2016 at the initiative of Rudy Demotte, the Minister-President of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, the “Mahmoud Darwish Academic and Cultural Chair” will be officially inaugurated at the Centre for Fine Arts on 25 January. This Chair is being created to perpetuate the memory and work of one of the greatest Arab authors, who was able to touch upon universal issues such as absence, exile, loss or rootlessness, by turning a language into a sanctuary and a musicality of words which made him one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, and which resonate in the internal exile which lives inside each and every one of us.   
This inaugural day will bring together literary critics, researchers, intellectuals, artists and journalists who, through their analyses and testimonies, will enable us to better understand Darwish’s thought, work and commitment to Palestine. The afternoon will finish with the very first screening of Simone Bitton’s short “Darwich à Tolède” and the film “Et la terre comme une langue...” that Simone Bitton and Elias Sanbar have dedicated to the poet.
In the evening there will be an eagerly anticipated concert by Palestinian singer and multi-instrumentalist Tamer Abu Ghazaleh which will bring this first Darwish Chair event to a close.