Mahmoud Abdul Wahab

Basra remembers literary giant and pillar of Iraqi culture

BASRA, January 12 — On the 12th anniversary of the passing of renowned storyteller Mahmoud Abdul Wahab, writers and intellectuals in Basra gathered to honor his legacy. The event was attended by many cultural figures and readers, who remembered him as a significant witness to Iraq’s cultural scene since the 1950s and an icon representing generations in the creative field.

Event Highlights:

– The Mustafa Jamal Al-Din Literary Association held a session to remember the late writer and storyteller, Mahmoud Abdul Wahab, at its headquarters. The session was presented by storyteller Bassem Al-Qatrani and included contributions from poet Kazem Al-Hajjaj, journalist Mohammed Saleh Abdul Reda, storyteller Abdul Halim Mahooder, poet Kareem Jekhyor, and writer Saeed Al-Muzaffar.
– Mohammed Mustafa Jamal Al-Din, Director of the Association, told 964media: “Remembering Mahmoud Abdul Wahab is important, so the association decided to celebrate his memory in its first activity this year, due to his significant impact on the city’s and Iraq’s culture, and his influence on writers themselves.”
– Poet Kazem Al-Hajjaj said, “In a single, elegant volume, Mahmoud Abdul Wahab put everything he wrote, totaling 600 pages. Despite his limited number of books (only four), his literary potential was immense, and he deserved wider Arab recognition.”
– Poet Kazem Al-Layez reflected on Abdul Wahab’s potential as a poet: “Mahmoud Abdul Wahab thought of himself as a poet, but his rationality prevailed. Perhaps a poet needs a touch of madness, so he turned to storytelling, for which he became known. He published a prose poem in Al-Basra newspaper in 1952, making him a pioneer of prose poetry in Basra.”
– Storyteller Bassem Al-Qatrani highlighted Abdul Wahab’s role in Basra’s narrative tradition: “Mahmoud Abdul Wahab, along with storyteller Mohammed Khudair, formed a significant duo, bringing the story to an important and vast extent in Arabic narrative.”
– Furrat Saleh, Head of the Basra Writers Union, spoke about Abdul Wahab’s legacy: “Mahmoud Abdul Wahab was a pillar of Basra’s literature, leaving a significant mark in the cultural scene. He deserves a special festival in his name, but we are doing what is possible. The Basra Writers Union is preparing to honor him in a major cultural event.”