Who is the Tunisian poet behind the embroidered verse on Rajwa Al Saif's henna dress?

The Saudi designer behind the bridal gown chose words from Tunisia's 'poet of life' to illustrate the symbolism behind the royal couple's love story

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Abu Al Qasim Al Shabbi is known as the "poet of life" for generations of Tunisians who were taught to recite his verses from a very young age.

When the time came for designer Honayda Serafi to choose heartfelt words that would illustrate Jordan’s royal couple's love, she chose Al Shabbi’s verses.

Embroidered in gold, the Arabic verse translates to read: "When I see you, life becomes more beautiful" — adding a personal touch to Rajwa Al Saif's henna celebration gown.

“I was actually searching with my team to find something that can deliver and explain this eternal love between her and Prince Hussein,” Serafi tells The National.

“They are role models and they are setting a new love story for everyone to look up to; they are inspiring the young generation to have this kind of honest and pure and strong love between them.”

Born in Tozeur, southwest Tunisia in 1909, Al Shabbi was known for his desire to create change and revolutionise minds through his poetry. He wrote about the future, art, his homeland, nature and the desire to fully immerse in the pleasure of living.

He believed in change and rebirth, and for that reason, he was nicknamed "the poet of life".

Despite suffering from a heart disease, which eventually led to his death at the young age of 25 in 1934, Al Shabbi made sure to remind young people that the desire to live must conquer all momentary whims.

He chose life in most of his poems, and most importantly, chose the love for his country as the highest form of love — a passion he passed on to future generations of Arabic poetry readers.

Similar to all his poems, the Arabic lettering verses that are seen on Jordan’s future royal bride are another illustration of the divine love he sought to spread.

Updated: May 25, 2023, 8:53 AM