RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) – A Palestinian presidential aide says that renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish has died.

Darwish died at a hospital in Houston following complications from an open heart surgery, according to Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Darwish is the world’s most recognized Palestinian poet and became a Palestinian cultural icon. He was a vocal critic of both the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian leadership.

His poetry is considered to have given voice to the Palestinian experience of exile, occupation and infighting. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages and has won many international prizes.

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