Saudi Arabia mourned on Friday poet Ibrahim Khafaji, the author of the kingdom’s national anthem.
Khafaji passed away at 91 after an illness and he was buried in the holy city of Mecca.
Born in Mecca in 1926, Khafaji kicked off his long poetry career at a young age, leaving behind a legacy for generations to come.
Various media, cultural and artistic figures mourned Khafaji, who not only wrote the national anthem, but composed several national and lyrical poems that were sung by major artists throughout the Arab world.
Mourners from across the Kingdom poured into Mecca to pay their respects to the late poet.
Deputy head of the cultural and media committee at the Shura council Dr. Abdullah bin Rofoud al-Safyani said that the country lost one its greatest sons, who composed songs that have reached major international arenas.
Khafaji received the King Abdulaziz medal in honor of his achievements, said Safyani, adding that it was time that cultural and art organizations came up with an award that would immortalize the late poet’s legacy.
Artist Hassan Iskandarani said that Khafaji was loyal to his country and close to his friends.
He stated that he composed a number of songs from his lyrics, revealing that the poet refused to accept any of the revenue from those songs.
Khafaji instead said that the revenue should instead go to the poor and needy, said Iskandarani.