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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Regional poets pay respects to the late Kuwaiti poet Mohammed Al Khass

Known as The Garden, Al Khass poetry career spans over six decades

The region’s literature scene buried a giant on Wednesday with the funeral of Mohammed Al Khass.

The poet passed away on Tuesday in his native Kuwait, reportedly in his eighties.

Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral prayer before his burial at Al Salebikhat cemetery on Wednesday morning.

Tributes poured in from cultural personalities across both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for the man whose evocative poetry had him dubbed Al Bustan (The Garden) by Saudi Arabia’s first monarch, King Abdulaziz Al Saud.

“Our condolences to the people of poetry about the death of the great poet Mohammad Al Khass, to God we belong and to whom we return,” tweeted popular Kuwaiti poet Sa'ad Alosh.

Turki Al Maraikhi, a Saudi writer and one of the judges of the television talent quest Million’s Poet, also took to social media to express his condolences: “We lost one of the leading personalities in the field of poetry. He served his religion and nation with all sincerity and devotion.”

Born in Saudi Arabia, Al Khass began writing as a youngster and his vignettes of the harshness and beauty of desert life immediately gained traction within the region and royal courts. It is said he received his moniker after a recital before King Abdulaziz at the age of 15.

It was the first of many interactions with different generations of Kuwaiti and Saudi royalty. News footage can be found online of Al Khass reciting his work in front of the late Saudi and Kuwaiti monarchs, King Fahd and Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah respectively.

In recent times he has been seen with the present Saudi monarch King Salman, who paid a private visit to Al Khass in Kuwait after hearing of his ailing health. Al Khass paid tribute to the king in a recent Saudi television interview in which he expressed gratitude for their friendship of more than 35 years.

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