World Poetry Day fell on March 21st and on the occasion, we’ve decided to explore this huge part of Arab heritage and embrace Saudi female poets we love. In an effort to conserve Saudi heritage and encourage literature, the Kingdom issued back in February 2020, a cultural authority dedicated to all-things literature, publishing and translation. Check out this awesome video by the Saudi Embassy in the U.S celebrating #WorldPoetryDay:
In times good and bad, poetry has always brought inspiration and hope to people across the world. Arabic poetry brought people together for centuries, and is especially noteworthy during this year's #WorldPoetryDay. pic.twitter.com/vxGR83QKX2— Saudi Embassy (@SaudiEmbassyUSA) March 21, 2020
Without further ado, let’s delve into our trailblazing Saudi female authors and let’s us know if we missed your favorite:
1. Omaima al-Khamis
Omaima al-Khamis, a Saudi Arabian writer has successfully placed her mark in the world of literature. Through her writings, she wishes to break any bonds that tie women; she wants to free them from the past, move them to a brighter world and a hopeful future. Al-Khamis is a renowned published author with several publications to her name, from novels and short stories to self-help books and poetry collections. Her most recent novel, Voyage of the Cranes in the Cities of Agate (2017) won the 2018 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature.
2. Nimah Ismail Nawwab
Nimah Ismail Nawwab is considered a trailblazing writer and poet in the Kingdom. Her poetry has been translated into numerous languages and was published in various international anthologies, including Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World, Other Voices, The World Strand, and I Belong. The Unfurling (2004) was the first collection of poems by a Saudi woman poet to ever be commercially published in the United States.
3. Fawziyya Abu Khalid
Infused with political connotations and probes, Fawziyye Abu Khalid established herself when her first poetry collection, Until When Will They Abduct You on Your Wedding Night? – ‘Illa Mata Yakhtifunaki Lailat Al Aours, was published in 1974. A huge advocator for gender equality and equal opportunities, her activism is evident in many of her works; most notably Secret Readings in the History of Arab Silence (1985) and Mirage Water – Maa’ Al Sarab (1995).
4. Fatima Abdulla al-Musheeq
Al-Musheeq is considered one of the most prominent Saudi women writers. She has held many chief editor positions and has written in several literary and poetry magazines based in the Gulf. Some of her writings go under the pseudonym Al Jawhara, and her list of published works is quite impressive. She has 16 poems published including Perfume Bottle – Zoujajat Otor, The Southern Wind – Reeh Al Janoub, and Arrogant – Maghroura.