Singapore Repertory Theatre

← Go Back

Who is Taha Muhammad Ali?

A Palestinian Poet's Resilience Amidst the Turmoil of War and Displacement 

Imagine a man who, despite displacement and hardship, found a way to celebrate the human spirit. This is the remarkable story of Taha Muhammad Ali, a Palestinian poet who never lamented the occupation of his land. Witness the pain, the defiance, and the unwavering hope that shaped Taha's life and his art in Singapore Theatre Company’s powerful upcoming play, TAHA by Amer Hlehel.  

His Early Days 

Born in 1931 in the Palestinian village of Saffuriyya, Taha's life was forever marked by the upheaval of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.  

Forced to flee his homeland for Lebanon with his family, displacement became a constant companion, a theme that would echo throughout his poetry. 

A Poet Forged by Passion 

Even though his formal schooling stopped after fourth grade, Taha's hunger for knowledge never faded. He devoured books by Steinbeck, Shakespeare and the classics of Arabic poetry.  

It wasn't until his 40s that Taha penned his first poem. His little souvenir shop, far from just selling trinkets, blossomed into a haven for his creativity.  

Not Your Average Poet 

Taha’s true magic lies in his ability to transform hardship. The pain of displacement, an experience that could have fuelled bitterness, became the source of his most powerful art.  

His poems are infused with humour and unflinching honesty, capturing the full spectrum of human experience: the longing for home, the enduring power of love, and the resilience of the human spirit. 

"In my poetry," Taha once said, "there is no Palestine, no Israel. But, in my poetry, suffering, sadness, longing, fear, and this is, together, make the results: Palestine and Israel. The art is to take from life something real, then build it anew with imagination."  

Experience Taha's Extraordinary Journey Firsthand 

Witness Taha's unwavering spirit as he rises up against life, war and displacement that did everything to steal his dreams. Set against the backdrop of the Arab-Israeli wars, his story unfolds with heartfelt compassion and raw emotion. Feel the echoes of his experiences resonate within you, for in his words lie universal truths that touch the very core of what it means to be human. 

TAHA opens 2 April 2024. Book your tickets now and embark on a journey that will stay with you long after the curtain falls.  

Published on: 14-03-2024