Salah Al-Hamdani
Salah Al-Hamdani born in 1951 in Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, is a contemporary Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

, actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

 and playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...


Imprisoned as a political dissident in the 1970s, he began writing in prison. Some of his writing was published in clandestine journals. He has continued to write, in Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, since moving to France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, where he been living for three decades. In his work, Al-Hamdani opposed Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

's government, and subsequently the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

-led Occupation of Iraq.

He is particularly known in France for his poem "Baghdad Mon Amour" ("Baghdad My Beloved", 2003).

Al-Hamdani also assisted Saad Salman
Saad Salman
Saad Salman is an Iraqi-French film director. He filmed Baghdad On/Off, a documentary filmed when Saddam Hussein was in power. He has been exiled in Paris since 1976...

 in writing the dialogue of the latter's film Baghdad On/Off, which he appeared in as an actor.


  • "Salah Al Hamdani", Le Printemps des Poètes: biography and bibliography (in French)
  • Words Without Borders
    Words Without Borders
    Words Without Borders is an international magazine opened to international exchange through translation, publication, and promotion of the world’s best writing and authors who are not easily accessible to English-speaking readers....

    , Literature from the "Axis of Evil"
    Literature from the "Axis of Evil"
    Literature from the "Axis of Evil" is an anthology of short stories, poems and excerpts from novels by twenty writers from seven countries, translated into English , and published by Words Without Borders in 2006....

    , ISBN 978-1-59558-205-8, 2006, pp. 55–6: brief biography

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