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Saif Al Harthi’s poems parse patriotic heartbeats of Emirati society

Saif Al Harthi’s poems parse patriotic heartbeats of Emirati society
13 May 2024 08:34

SARA ALZAABI (ABU DHABI)

Noted Emirati poet Saif Munassar Al Harthi is on a literary mission to explore social, emotional, and patriotic themes, capturing the essence of the Emirati way of life and paying homage to the homeland.

In conversation with Aletihad, Al Harthi said that he started penning poems at the age of 13, with the wholehearted support of his mother who nurtured his love for verses.

Well-versed in the nuances of Nabati poetry, a hallmark of life in the Arabian Peninsula since ancient times, Al Harthi said that he was greatly influenced by the profound poetic wisdom of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, “who served as my primary mentor in the realm of poetry”.

“President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan stands as a beacon of inspiration for poetry as well, and I owe him a debt of gratitude for his profound influence,” Al Harthi said.

Deeply rooted in national themes, he crafts his verses in a manner to resonate with a diverse Arab audience by employing “White Dialect”, a linguistic strategy for Arabic speakers to be understood by everyone amid a variety of Arabic dialects.

Al Harthi  said that he infuses his verses with love for the nation and its milestones, as the nation continues its journey on the path of development and excellence.

“Each day, we awaken to yet another milestone accomplished. We tirelessly pursue the achievements of our leadership. The UAE’s achievements themselves are pristine poems etched onto the fabric of history and time,” he said.

As for connecting with readers of different age groups, he tailors his approach accordingly to ensure clarity and emotional resonance.

Al Harthi said that he finds inspiration from the timeless works of  Abū al-Ṭayyib al-Mutanabbī, rich in both wisdom and poetic excellence.

“The same admiration extends to the poems of our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a poet and a visionary leader, where one can consistently discern the presence of the nation resonating throughout.”

Al Harthi was also full of praise of the rich poetic heritage of the region.

“We are residing in the heartland of poetry, and during the era of Zayed, the Emirates spearheaded the promotion of poetry, disseminating it across the Arab world through lyrical verse.”

The art form experienced a resurgence under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the UAE assuming a pioneering role in fostering poetry, both folk and classical. This was facilitated through innovative initiatives such as The Million’s Poet and Prince of Poets competitions, alongside various poetry programmes and festivals, positioning Abu Dhabi as the premier destination for poets, Al Harthi added.

Touching on the role of poetry councils, Al Harthi said that they are vital in moulding a new generation of poets.
“I firmly believe that the forthcoming stage will witness a renaissance in local poetry. With the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Heritage Authority, I anticipate that local poetry will flourish like never before.”

He also noted that as the UAE commemorates the “Year of Sustainability”, poets can be instrumental in shaping public behaviour. “The Year of Sustainability presents an opportunity for us to explore sustainability through the medium of poetry,” he said.

According to Al Harthi, participating in poetry programmes and media engagement allows individuals to connect with the public and society, and contributes to the nation’s development.

Al Harthi firmly believes that national poems promote a sense of national belonging and values that characterise the

Emirati way of living. Penning poems is a national calling for him.

“I firmly believe that it is the duty of a poet to document the outstanding achievements of our beloved homeland, the UAE, and the remarkable strides our wise leadership continuously makes across all domains.”

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