Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Nazik al-Malaika (23 August 1923 – 20 June 2007) was a distinguished Iraqi poet who left a significant mark in the literary world. She is particularly recognized for being among the pioneering Arabic poets to embrace free verse as a form of expression.

Early Life

Born into a cultured family in Baghdad, al-Malaika’s upbringing was influenced by a poetic lineage. Her father worked as a teacher, and her mother, like herself, was a poet. Remarkably, she penned her first poem when she was merely 10 years old. Her academic pursuits encompassed a diverse range of subjects, including English and French literature, Latin, and Greek poetry. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts in Baghdad in 1944. Following this, she pursued a master’s degree in comparative literature at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she earned a Degree of Excellence. Subsequently, she extended her education at the Institute of Fine Arts, specializing in music, and graduated in 1949. In 1959, she attained a Master of Arts in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the United States. Throughout her career, she held professorial positions at the University of Baghdad, the University of Basrah, and Kuwait University.


Nazik al-Malaika’s impact was felt across various educational institutions. Notably, she contributed her expertise to the University of Mosul, where she taught. Her commitment to education and her groundbreaking contributions to poetry solidified her reputation as an influential figure in the literary landscape.

On 23 August 2011, a Google Doodle was created to celebrate Nazik Al Malaika’s Birthday.

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