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Contemporary local poets celebrate legacy of Ahmad Rashid Thani

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SHARJAH, 24th April, 2022 (WAM) — Emirati poets Ahmad Al Assam and Amal Al Sahlawi highlighted the works and legacy of Emirati poet and researcher Ahmad Rashid Thani during a session held on the sidelines of the second edition of the Emirati Book Fair (EBF) at the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) headquarters in Al Zahia.

Titled ‘Ahmad Rashid Thani .. the everlasting echo’, the session was attended by Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA and Sultan Al Amimi, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Emirates Writers Union (EWU).

The speakers engaged in an in-depth discussion of the late literary master’s creative journey, commenting that emerging writers can draw inspiration from his creative perseverance, which culminated in his rich collection of works comprising poetry, novels, plays and documentary research on the UAE’s cultural heritage.

Born in Khorfakkan in 1962, Thani is one of the most renowned composers of both Nabati and Fasih poetry. His prose texts mainly deal with existentialist themes, while his theatrical pieces are notable for their sharp critique of society.

Thani, who passed away in 2012, also produced a vast body of research and studies on the regions, dialects, folklore, poetry and theatre of the UAE.

Al Assam noted that Thani was not only a prolific writer but also an avid reader well versed in traditional and popular poetry. The poet, Al Assam added, worked on documenting heritage by talking to senior citizens across the country, and was a keen supporter of aspiring authors and gave them his able counsel.

To conclude, Al Assam stressed the importance of preserving the legacy and works of the late poet as they are invaluable references, which will benefit generations.

Amal Al Sahlawi discussed the personality of the late poet, noting that his friends still remember him and share stories about him and how his works are still sought after. She noted that Thani’s poetry is different from his counterparts as he employed the vocabulary from the local dialect.

She agreed with her fellow panellist that Thani’s works are timeless in the way they capture the interest of readers from different generations, including the modern readers of today.

Amal also described the poet’s work as symbolic, vivid imagery of places shaped by the kind of writing that is full of love for people, places and words.

At the end of the session, she recited a few poems by the late Emirati poet.

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