Abu Dhabi: In a tent at the beach, poetry lovers enjoyed listening to three Emirati poets in Arabic with English translations.
In collaboration with Banipal 42, a publication supported by the Emirates Foundation, New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) organised an evening of public poetry readings, giving the audience a taste of modern Emirati literature.
Emirati poets shared their works in their original form, with English translations, read by poetry experts.
Works by 27poets were presented and introduced in English translation, both in print and online.
Poets hope that this and other similar events will expose audiences in the larger global community to their modern literary work.
"As we work to make Arabic literature more accessible to the global community, we hope we will contribute to a greater awareness of the region's rich history, heritage and talent," said Philip Kennedy, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern studies at NYUAD.
Combining traditional musical notes with words, Adel Khozam, Emirati poet, writer, journalist, broadcaster and deputy manager of Sama Dubai TV, wrote a piece entitled Music:
FA — Far off, kick the boredom of days and head out to the fruits of life
Cut the cords of despair with the scalpel of ecstasy.
Run swift among ideas. Free them from a prison of paper
Sit at the front of seafaring ships
Raise your sail, fill it and set forth
"In this prose-poetry Music, from The House of The Wise Man collection, I was the first Emirati to combine poetry and spirituality," Khozam told Gulf News.
"I have had an ease with words since I was a child, and started writing at the age of ten. Freed from rhyme, I found in prose-poetry freedom of expression.
"My writing is a combination of poetry, prose, philosophy and contemplation, but it follows one theme and has open meaning that bears multiple interpretations," he said. His works have been translated into English, French and German, and Khozam said he and his generation of poets are writing modern poetry that reflects their views and concepts of the world.
"Emirati literature is not much different from Arab literature, but we were influenced with the recent Arab movement that called for liberation from classical literature ties, and gave imagination total freedom," he said.