x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Contentious Saudi poet Hissa Hilal to attend book fair

aaa``Saudi Arabian poet who courted controversy from behind her veil during the Million's Poet contest in the capital last year returns to the city next month.

Saudi Arabian poet who courted controversy from behind her veil during the Million's Poet contest in the capital last year returns to the city next month. Marwan Naamani / AFP Photo
Saudi Arabian poet who courted controversy from behind her veil during the Million's Poet contest in the capital last year returns to the city next month. Marwan Naamani / AFP Photo
ABU DHABI // The Saudi Arabian poet Hissa Hilal who courted controversy from behind her veil during the 2010's Million's Poet contest in the capital last year returns to the city next month.
Hilal recited a 15-verse Nabati-style poem that criticised Muslim preachers who were "frightening" people with their fatwas.
Organisers announced yesterday she would read from new work during the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which opens on March 15 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Kitab, the organiser of the fair, hopes to make the event a meeting point between East and West, north and south, said Monika Krauss, Kitab's manager.
"The presence of such internationally recognised figures as the Saudi Arabian novelist Raja'a Alem and the South African poet and author Breyten Breytenbach gives the tone for this year's event, where the wide and wonderful world of books will open to the public," she said.
Among the authors set to appear is Sylvia Nasar, who wrote A Beautiful Mind, a biography of the mathematical genius John Nash. Ahmed Mourad, one of the few Arabic writers specialising in science fiction, will take part in a discussion, while Jostein Gaarder, the Norwegian author of Sophie's World, will launch a new book.
The winners of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction will be announced during the fair, which closes on March 20.
aseaman@thenational.ae