Taha Muhammad Ali (1931-2011) was an Arab-Israeli poet who lived in Nazareth. Ali was born and raised in the village of Saffuriya in the Galilee, and at the age of seventeen, during the War of Independence, he fled with his family to Lebanon. After the war, they were not permitted to return to the village and the family returned and settled in Nazareth, where Ali lived until his death. In the fifties, he opened a souvenir shop for Christian tourists in the Al Casanova market, in the city center, and he began to study poetry at night school. He used to write his poetry when the shop was empty of customers.
Ali was self-taught and studied in school for only four years. This is how he also explains why his writing was waiting to flow out from him only when he reached the age of 41. In the drawers in his shop, his stories and poems waited for years until he plucked up courage and decided to publish them.
Ali was a member of the Israel Communist Party and Rakah and served on the central committee of the party. He left it in 1990 following a dispute on the ideological direction of the party, which continued to adhere to Leninism.
Ali wrote about his childhood days with yearning, and about what he experienced when he was expelled from his land with his family and the destruction of the tranquil village life. Over the years, he published five books of poetry and a collection of short stories in Arabic. His writings were translated to nine languages, including Chinese, Russian, Spanish, French and Italian, and were published in dozens of journals throughout the world. He won the Teva Prize for Poetry in 2005. He died at his home in Nazareth on 2nd October, 2011 and left behind a wife, two sons and a daughter.