SIBF 2022: African poets recite stunning pieces about Islam, civilisation, love and beauty

All of the session’s poets presented their works in Arabic, with the panel moderator noting that the language has become an indelible part of African poetry


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 3 Nov 2022, 3:54 PM

Last updated: Thu 3 Nov 2022, 4:20 PM

Alongside the love in this part of the world for Arabic, English and Urdu poetry, there is also a growing appreciation for poetry from Africa, and this was in the spotlight at the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2022).

The fair hosted distinguished poets from Africa on the opening night of the 12-day cultural extravaganza at Expo Centre Sharjah.

The session ‘Poets of Africa’ brought together elite poets from Senegal and Nigeria, who spoke about and showcased their poetry on varied subjects ranging from love and beauty, to one's duty to their homeland and its rulers.

Moderator Dr. Abdulqader Idris opened the panel by noting that the continent of Africa has a vast array of intellectuals, thinkers, scientists and scholars, poets and artists, and that the session would offer an excellent primer to a selection of elite poets.

“Scholars in Africa have left an enduring legacy, as their knowledge has spread throughout the continent and chronicled the lives and happenings of the people. A lot of the poetry and creativity we have today is a result of that,” Dr. Idris said.

He pointed out that Arabic has become an indelible part of African poetry, and all of the session’s poets presented their works in Arabic.

Mohammed Hadi Sali Ali Baah, from Senegal, recited his poems about love, destiny and the captivating beauty of a woman that he compared to the land around him. He highlighted the importance of cultivating one’s intellect: “It is vital to accord heart and devotion to the food of the mind.”

He also praised His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for his wise deeds and actions.

Meanwhile, poet Dr. Hamid Al Hajiry, from Nigeria, gave a passionate recitation on Islam and praised the culture of “intellect, devotion and compassion fostered by Sharjah and its ruler, carrying forward the true essence and meaning of an Islamic civilisation.” Al Hajiry's poems also covered a wide range of subjects including science, literature, arts, culture, knowledge and civilisation.

Tayeb Mustafa Mohamed, also from Nigeria, closed the session by reciting his poetry on life, and also praising the Ruler of Sharjah for providing and nurturing the right environment for holding an event such as the Sharjah International Book Fair.


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