Emirati masters of rhyme, Zayed Al-Maisari and Abdullah Bin Salim Al-Ketbi,
regale 40th Sharjah International Book Fair audience with some of their best works

For immediate release
Sharjah, November 9, 2021

Visitors to the 40thSharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) got glimpses of the rich world of the UAE’s folk poetry presented by Emirati poets Zayed Al-Maisari and Abdullah Bin Salim Al-Ketbi, who recited some of their best works.

The event – part of the 11-day book fair’s cultural programme and titled Beacons – saw Al-Maisari and Al-Ketbi take the audience on a nostalgic journey filled with raw emotions of love and compassion. The two also spoke about ways they felt the ancient culture of Emirati folk poetry must be protected.

“We don’t mind it in any form – written text, spoken words, audio-visual, or others – but it must be done for our future generations,” said Al-Maisari while explaining how current social media habits have changed the way poems are consumed.

The two also recited poems to highlight the times of Covid-19 lockdowns. “When love bloomed for some, it was despair at the separation from loved ones for many”.

In a powerful message extolling mother’s grace, Al-Maisari urged the audience: “Mothers keep you in their wombs for nine months and feed you. Don’t cause her grief and hardship. Be kind to her. Some neglect their mothers by abandoning them in homes for the elderly. Do not do so. Be with her for as long as she lives, bend your knees for her before it is too late and pray that only heaven be her final resting place.”   

Al-Maisari’s counterpart Al-Ketbi, who has been leading poetry events for a decade, delivered an equally moving piece of poetry for ‘sisters of the world’. “I want to write about the beauty of the bond brothers and sisters share. Your sister is like your mother, and you must take care of her. Give her all the love, smile at her, sacrifice for her, give her the world. No one will remember except the sister you protected.” Al-Ketbi recited his poem while narrating how he was inspired to write it when a girl at a poetry event told him that she had seven brothers but not even one knew her well.

Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) under the theme ‘There’s always a right book’, SIBF 2021, which runs until November 13, in Expo Centre Sharjah will continue to hold creative, insightful and enjoyable discussions like this to enrich the minds of its visitors.

ENDS