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Who is Ousha Al Suwaidi?

The woman behind Google Doodle

One of the greatest Nabati poets of the 20th century is largely acknowledged to have been the late Ousha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi. She had a significant impact on Arab literature and had a profound impact on the culture of the country.

Early rise to fame

Ousha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi, popularly known as Fatat Al-Arab (Girl of the Arabs), was born in 1920 to a literary and poetically inclined family in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. She spent the most of her life in Al Ain, migrating to Dubai in the late 1980s, with the exception of a fifteen year stint spent in Qatar.

Ousha got the chance to meet several poets when she was a little girl and hear their poems. She gained praise from the poetry world for her recitals when she was just 15 years old, which is an impressive accomplishment given how heavily male-dominated poetry was at the time.

Title of Fatat Al Khaleej

Ousha began producing a large number of poems quickly after being influenced by traditional poets like Al Mutannabi, Abu Tammam, and Al Ma’ari as well as contemporary Nabati poets like Al Majidi bin Thahir, Rashid Al Khalawi, Saleem bin Abdul Hai, and Mohsin Hazzani. Ousha attained fame as a significant cultural figure and earned the moniker “Fatat Al Khaleej” (Girl of the Gulf). Her poetry, which was written in classical Arabic, dealt with a wide range of subjects, such as love, wisdom, nostalgia, adoration, and nationalistic feelings. The United Arab Emirate’s local land and sea, as well as the nation’s past and present, were intimately recalled in her terminology and writing style. Her most famous poem was composed in honour of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

She is considered as one of the best Arabic Nabati poets, and several well-known Emirati and Arab singers have performed her lyrics. She has had a significant impact on the growth of Nabati poetry in the UAE, especially among young female poets. Ousha’s encouragement helped women’s lyrical voices grow and become crucial to the culture of the Emirates.

Ousha Al Suwaidi is a prominent figure in the industry. Discover more about her accomplishments and contributions with our comprehensive guide on “Ousha Al.” Get to know the woman behind the name and stay updated on the latest news surrounding Ousha Al Suwaidi.

The moniker Fatat Al Arab

Following Ousha’s involvement in a series of poetry performances with him in 1989, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, dedicated a poem from his first collection to Ousha and gave her the moniker “Fatat Al Arab” (Girl of the Arabs), replacing her former nickname “Fatat Al Khaleej.”

Awards in her honour

Her Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan honoured her with the Abu Dhabi Award after she won in the 11th Sharjah Festival of Classic Poetry in 2010. In her honour, a portion of the Women’s Museum in Dubai was dedicated in 2011, and a yearly prize for female Emirati poets was created in her name. At the age of 98, the late Ousha Al Suwaidi passed away in 2018.

Achievements and book releases

Over the years, a number of newspapers, periodicals, audio recordings, and poetry collections have all featured poems by Fatat Al Arab. The poet Hamad Bin Khalifa Bou Shehab released the first book in 1990. In the year 2000, the book’s second edition was published. The authorised biography of the late Ousha Bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Fatat Al Arab, was released in 2011 by Dr. Rafia Ghubash. In addition, a special part of the Women’s Museum Dubai is devoted to Fatat Al Arab and highlights her career, life, and accomplishments. The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) presented her with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award in 2019 in honour of her exceptional legacy of literary knowledge and poetic creativity that enriched the Emirati literary scene and elevated her to a significant and inspirational figure in Arab literary culture.

Google Doodle

An image of Emirati poet Ousha Al Suwaidi dressed in traditional garb, including a face covering, appeared as the Google Doodle on Monday 28 November 2022, to honour her for inspiring female poets all throughout the area. Reem Al Mazrouei, a Dubai-based artist, honours the Emirati poet with a lovely artwork that alluded to the poetry’s topics. Early versions of her doodle were published by Google, demonstrating her creative process and the components Al Mazrouei wished to include in her drawing. Palm trees, the desert, paper, and the moon are a few examples. Another draught has the poet penning a poem on a scroll of paper while a bird appears to take flight from her words as she works…

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