Cities and hometowns have always been muses for poets and writers, and Arab cities are no exception.
Ancient capitals in the Middle East like Cairo, Damascus, Beirut and Jerusalem evoked feelings of pride, nostalgia and love inside some of the Arab world’s most iconic writers. They expressed these feeling through beautiful poems and quotes.
Here are a few examples of the most beautiful quotes about Arab cities:
Damascus or “Sham” was a constant muse to Lebanese poet Said Akl, who wrote many poems celebrating this ancient city:
“Oh Sham with the mighty sword that neverc eases… You are the words of glory in every book. Before you history was drenched in darkness, and after you it is written in the stars.”
These lines by Alexander the Great show that the love for this city will always be rooted in the hearts of those who lived in it:
“Alexandria is the hymn of age and the beloved of history, I don’t know if I’m the one living in it or if it’s living deep inside my soul."
Through this simple line, Mahmoud Darwish summarizes the status of Beirut as a magical city that sheltered and mesmerized all types of people:
“Beirut is our one and only tent… and our one and only star”
Nizar Qabbani was at loss for words in front of the beauty of Baghdad:
“Oh Baghdad, I have seen every form of beauty, but your exquisiteness is beyond everything I have seen. What can I write about you my jewel? A thousand books are never enough to describe my infatuation with you.”
Brothers Rahbani expressed their love and longing for this sacred city through these words:
“It is for you city of the prayer that I pray. It is for you oh splendid home, flower of the cities Oh Jerusalem city of the prayer. Our eyes are set out to you everyday. They walk through the porticos of the temples, embrace the old churches, and take the sadness away from the mosques.”
Yahiya Tawfiq Hassan melts our hearts with these lines describing the beauty of this city that everyone who lived in it yearns for:
“Oh Jeddah, even if the nights took me away from you my heart still wanders over your land. Oh bride of Hejaz, your nights are magic and the beauty of existence is embodied in your presence.”
Farooq Juwaida superbly describes Tunis as a muse for arts and beauty:
“A Carthagian beauty who is still, from the Andalusia time, carries in her voice, a flowing hymn. O Tunisia, the dreams, you are the guard of arts, melodies, and scents. I am counting my days with eagerness, to come back to you again."