x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

My UAE: the poet Hassa Al Mansoori’s life of rhyme

A profile of Hassa Al Mansoori, an amateur poet who enjoys writing sad poems.

The Emirati poet Hassa Al Mansoori, who has established her following via social media. Razan Alzayani / The National
The Emirati poet Hassa Al Mansoori, who has established her following via social media. Razan Alzayani / The National

Hassa Al Mansoori grew in a family filled with poets, including a cousin who won the reality TV show ­Million’s Poet.

Quiet and shy, Al Mansoori discovered her passion for poetry at the age of 11. “I read many books and they have been a great source of escape,” says the 22-year-old from Dubai.

But one day, she decided to take a break from reading and give her writing skills a shot. Her journey began with short stories.

“My family members write Nabati poems, but I found classical poems more engaging, plus I prefer being unique,” she says.

Her poetry is a mixture of themes like lovers’ complaints, parents and giving voice to the social and political issues. She also enjoys writing sad poetry. “I don’t know why I enjoy that particular theme. It could be the books I read.”

In 2007, Hassa took part in a short story competition and won eighth place. “The story was about a young girl who found out that her mother wasn’t her real mother. This incident was a turning point of her life.”

Not everyone encouraged her passion. “Every time I recited a poem to my brother, he would ask (me) to stop copying from books,” laughs the Zayed University student.

But her spirit was soon revived by support from her growing audience on social media.

“I was worried about losing my work, so I started compiling everything I wrote and launched my own website at Hassag.wordpress.com,” she says. “I thought no one cared, but many people enjoyed my writing, which was overwhelming.

“My mother reads my blog and sometimes she would tease me after reading love poems,” she laughs. “Who is the man you’re talking about?” her mother would ask.

With an audience, Hassa now says that she has a mission to produce more optimistic poems.

One item that you always carry with you and why?

A notebook, although I usually use the notes in my phone to write everything.

What is your dream job?

I’ve always wanted to be a journalist, a reporter who travels the world searching for news.

What is your life motto?

Fake it ‘til you make it.

Who is your favourite poet?

Rashed Al Rumaithi, my cousin. He won the fifth edition of Million’s Poet. I got to witness his victory and it was amazing.

Which is your favourite country?

Palestine. I have seen a few journalists covering the Palestinian uprising. I wish to be one of those. My favourite author is also Palestinian, Mahmoud Darwish. His books usually carry sad themes and very deep meanings.

Which culture do you adore the most?

Spanish culture. What I love most about Spain is its architecture.

What is your favourite cartoon?

A Bug’s Life. This movie taught me the importance of team work and how to stand up for what I believe.

When you choose a friend, what quality do you usually look for?

I love being around friends who have the same interests.

Which languages do you speak? What’s your favourite, apart from Arabic?

English and Arabic only. But I would like to learn Spanish.

Who is your role model?

Heba AlSamt, co-founder of Emiratweet. I got to hear about her through Twitter. I find inspiration in her words and I love her high ambition and optimistic personality.

aalhameli@thenational.ae

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