The master of Nabati poetry spread UAE vernacular poetry to an international audience and shone in a male dominated art
Tributes, prayers and poetry were shared across the country this weekend to honour the late Ousha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi, one of the great Nabati poets of the 20th century.
Al Suwaidi was buried in Al Quoz cemetery after Friday prayers. She was 98 years old.
She was a master of Nabati verse, a form of vernacular poetry, and her prolific writing earned her the nickname Fatat Al Arab, Girl of the Arabs.
“Our country lost a great symbol of literature, wisdom and poetry, Ousha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Fatat Al Arab,” tweeted Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. “Fatat Al Arab has left behind treasures of literature and poetry which will continue to tell her biography and she will always be remembered.”
Al Suwaidi was born in Al Ain in 1920 at the height of the pearling boom and began composing poetry at the age of 15. Born in family that loved literature, she grew up in the company of poets and taught herself to read and write by tracing letters and words in charcoal.