DCT Abu Dhabi honours Emirati poet

ABU DHABI, 22nd February, 2018 (WAM) — Celebrating the legacy of the late Emirati poet and researcher Ahmed Rashid Thani, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is honouring the sixth anniversary of his death by re-publishing nine of his books.

A special ceremony is to be held at the Department’s headquarters next month and will be attended by 100 people including intellectuals, media professionals and researchers.

The Department last year launched five initiatives to revive the legacy of Thani, who passed away on 20th February 2012, under the title ‘Ahmed Rashid Thani… He Who Have Not Passed’.

The initiatives included publishing manuscripts by the late poet, comprising poetry, novels and heritage-related research, as well as the re-publication of his earlier books, which include many reference books in fields like the documentation of oral heritage, folklore, poetry and theatre.

“The committee responsible for the manuscripts left by the late Thani has scrutinised the manuscripts found at his house and his office at the Cultural Foundation, and decided that a series of books will be printed after revision,” said Abdulla Majid Al Ali, Acting Executive Director of the National Library Sector at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

He added, “The selected manuscripts, along with a collection of sold-out valuable books, will be available at the ceremony, to be held in March, in the presence of a number of friends, poets, intellectuals and cultural officials from various entities. This initiative aims to commemorate one of our cherished cultural idols, and make his important books available again in recognition of his efforts in documenting oral memory.”

The nine titles being launched next month include two new titles, ‘Zaman Yedhrob Zaman’, a dictionary comprising vocabularies used in Emirati stories, and ‘Bain Al Mushafaha wal Kitaba’ (Between Oral Narration and Writing).

Also presented will be the oral narration series, which includes the books ‘Rehla Ela Al Seer’ and ‘Ibn Dhaher’, which covers research on the poetry and biography of Emirati poet Ahmed bin Dhaher, as well as the childrens’ illustrated storybook, ‘Al Jabal Allathee Eshtara Baqara’ (The Mountain that Bought a Cow).

Thani’s eight poetry anthologies entitled ‘The Poems of Ahmed Rashid Thani 1985-2009’ will be republished later this year, along with his two plays, ‘The Cage of Madagascar’ and ‘Elaab wo Ghol El Sitr’.

The committee responsible for sorting and scrutinising the manuscripts of Thani includes novelist Ali Abu Al-Reesh as well as some of Thani’s friends, and colleagues with whom he worked at the Department.

Recently, the committee’s work has focused on collecting and republishing Thani’s works, publishing his unpublished works and archiving his personal documents to be displayed to the public, in a manner that honours his literary and research experience.

Ahmed Rashid Thani was born in Khor Fakkan in 1962. He is one of the most renowned UAE poets, in both Nabati and Fasih poetry, while his prose texts mainly revolve around existential contemplation.

Thani also produced many theatrical plays criticising social transformations along with a rich collection of documentary research and studies covering narrative and oral heritage.


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