Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

UAE launches award to celebrate Emirati women poets

Launch of 'Osha Bint Khalifa Alsuwaidi Award for Nabati Poetry' coincides with Emirati Women’s Day

Poetry by Osha Bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi at the Women's Museum in Deira. Antonie Robertson / The National
Poetry by Osha Bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi at the Women's Museum in Deira. Antonie Robertson / The National

An award to celebrate Emirati women poets was launched in the UAE on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development announced the Osha Bint Khalifa Alsuwaidi Award for Nabati Poetry, named after a legendary Emirati poet, on Emirati Women's Day.

The ministry, in collaboration with renowned Emirati businessman, Khalaf Al Habtoor, said the award would be held annually.

Alsuwaidi is considered one of the finest Arabic Nabati poets. Often referred to as Fatat Al Arab, which translates to "girl of the Arabs", the affectionate name was given to her by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai even honoured her in his own poetry collection in 1989.

The new award aims to celebrate poetry and literature in the Arab world. It will also put the spotlight on the important role of Emirati women in the UAE’s cultural and literary scene.

“With this esteemed award, we not only celebrate the legacy of the late Osha bint Khalifa Alsuwaidi, an Emirati symbol of talent, wisdom and literature, but we also aim to inspire the youth to follow in her footsteps,” Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said.

Invested in reviving an interest in the Emirati poetic expression, Ms Al Kaabi said she hoped the award would inspire young Emiratis to hone their skills in the literary field. Further information, including the terms and categories of the award, will be announced shortly.

Alsuwaidi valued creativity and tradition and fought to preserve Emirati heritage through her poetry. She died at the age of 98 in 2018.

Updated: September 2, 2019 10:10 AM

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