(2490 words)
  • Atef Alshaer (SOAS, University of London)

There are few writers whose names happen to signify their worldview and character as much as the Syrian poet and intellectual ‘Ali Ahmad Said Esber. He adopted the name Adonis at the age of seventeen and has ever since been widely known by it. Adonis was born in 1930 in the village of Qassabin in the district of Latakia in Northern Syria to an Alawite family. He struggled to get his poems published under his original name, and therefore opted for Adonis, which allowed him to publish in magazines. Another early milestone in his life was when he recited his poetry to the then Syrian President Shukri al-Kuwatli (1955-1958), who subsequently helped him to secure scholarships. Adonis’s life and vision are reflected in his copious …

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Alshaer, Atef. "Adonis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 January 2014
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Middle Eastern Literatures& Cultures