ABU DHABI // A selection of poems dedicated to Sheikh Zayed, the founder of the nation, has been republished after going out of print in 1991.
The 85-page book by the late Emirati poet Hamad Khalifa Bou Shihab has been produced by the Poetry Academy of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) as part of a project to publish all his works.
The poet, dedicating the book to the late President, wrote in the introduction: "Sheikh Zayed of goodness has, by the will of God, united our nation, and brought about a brotherhood among our leaders."
The titles of the nine long works include From the Heart to My People: Greetings, Praise and Salutations for You Our Heritage, and He Who Has Made Glory with Palms. Two of the poems are written in the local Nabati dialect. One begins: "Congratulations, praise and salutations for you, crowned with laurels."
Bou Shihab was born in Ajman in 1932 and developed an interest in verse at a young age when he attended the poetry meetings that were common at the time. His adult works became popular across the Arab world and he died in 2002. This is the third book of Bou Shihab's poetry the academy has published since signing an agreement with his heirs in 2009, which gave Adach the right to publish all his writings.