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The poet and philosopher Al Ma'ari

The poet and philosopher Al Ma'ari

Damascus madrasa

The blind poet and philosopher Abu Al Ala’a Al Maari who died in 1057, author of ‘A Treatise on Forgiveness’ which was widely believed to have been the inspiration for Dante’s Divine Comedy, hailed from Maa’rat an-Numan hence his name. He became blind after contracting smallpox as a child. I found this statue hidden in a corner of the library of the Adiliye Madrasa in Damascus.