Thousands of Palestinians are expected to bid farewell to Mahmoud Darwish, whose poetry encapsulated the Palestinian cause, when his funeral is held on Wednesday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The funeral procession for the 67-year-old poet will be the equivalent of a state funeral, an honor previously accorded only to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who died in 2004.
"He did not die, because he left a legacy of poetry behind him. He is immortal in our hearts," businessman Mohammad Saqf al-Heit said beside the plot where Darwish is to be buried.
His grave will face the outskirts of Jerusalem, where the Palestinians hope to create the capital of a future state which Darwish had yearned for in poems imbued with the agony of exile and loss.
During the three days of national mourning following his death, portraits of Darwish lined the streets of Ramallah, together with his famous mantra: "There is much on this land worth living for".
Organizers planned to unfurl 5,000 flags printed with pictures of Darwish, who came to Ramallah in 1995 after a quarter-century abroad and who, according to Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki, wished to be buried there.
Wednesday's funeral is being organized by the office of Abbas, who succeeded Arafat after his death in November 2004.
The Palestinian ambassador to Amman, Atallah Kheiry, said Darwish's body would be transferred to Jordan from the United States on a plane sent by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa al-Nahayan.
A ceremony was to be held at Amman's Marka military airport at 0700 GMT before Darwish's body is flown to the occupied West Bank on a Jordanian military helicopter.
Darwish died on Saturday from complications following heart surgery in a U.S. hospital in Houston, Texas.
He penned over two dozen books of poetry and prose in a career spanning nearly a half-century that captured the Palestinian experience of war, exile, and the unfinished struggle for national self-determination.
His award-winning poetry was translated into more than 20 languages and served as an eloquent witness of Palestinian exile and loss of homeland.
Born in territory that is now in Israel, Darwish made his home in Ramallah. He was jailed several times by the Israelis for his political activities.
He left in 1971 for the Soviet Union and exile in Cairo, Beirut, Tunis and Paris followed.
A sequence of poetic prose written about his experience of life in Beirut during the Israeli invasion and bombardment of Lebanon in 1982 was translated into English in 1995 under the title "Memory for Forgetfulness."
During his years abroad he rose to prominence in Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and returned to the West Bank in the 1990's.
He resigned from PLO in 1993 shortly after Arafat and Israel signed Oslo accords.
Friends said Darwish opposed the agreement because it fell short of the Palestinian demands that Israel return all land occupied in a 1967 Middle East war and recognize the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
The plot of land set aside for Darwish's grave is on a hill nearby to the Ramallah Cultural Palace where, in July, Darwish read his last new poems.