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Adonis was born Ali Ahmad Said Esber in the Syrian village Al-Qassabin in 1930. In 1956, fleeing political persecution, he moved to Beirut. In 1985, the ongoing Lebanese Civil War forced him to relocate to Paris, where he has resided ever since. One of the most influential contemporary Arab poets, he is the author of numerous collections, a translator of Ovid and Saint-John Perse, and has received many honors, including the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Goethe Prize, and the Pen/Nabokov Award.