The most notable works of Saudi poet Prince Badr Bin Abdul Mohsin, who has died aged 75

The Saudi royal was known for writing lyrics to songs by Ahlam, Kadim Al Saher and Mohammed Abdu, in addition to his landmark poetry

Saudi Prince Badr bin Abdul Mohsen was an esteemed poet and lyricist. Photo: SPA
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Saudi poet and lyricist Prince Badr Bin Abdul Mohsin has died at the age of 75.

The news was shared on Saturday by Princess Fahda bint Fahd Al Saud on her X account on Saturday.

“We belong to Allah and to Him we will return,” she said. “Oh God, Badr is in your hand … illuminate his grave and make it a garden of paradise.”

Prince Badr was widely considered a giant of Gulf poetry, as well as a major figure in Arabic music, collaborating with many notable composers in his decades-long artistic career.

Tributes pour in for the poet prince from across the Gulf

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, who writes poetry under the nom de plume Fazza, described Prince Badr's death as a blow to “lovers of the word everywhere”.

“Absent is Badr who shined with his words a space for poetry, love and feelings,” he said on X. “Sincere condolences and sympathy to the honourable House of Saud and to lovers of the word everywhere. Today we lost a full moon and his light cannot be replaced.”

President Sheikh Mohamed also offered sincere condolences to the poet's family.

Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority, described Prince Badr as a father figure.

“May God have mercy on the poet Prince, His Royal Highness Prince Badr bin Abdul Mohsin, forgive him and place him in a spacious paradise,” he said on X.

“My condolences to his honourable family and children, the honourable House of Saud and the Saudi people … I feel I have lost a father of mine, but all I can say is praise be to God in any case.”

A member of the Saudi Royal family, Prince Badr was the son of Prince Abdul Mohsin bin Abdul Aziz, a former governor of Madinah.

Educated in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Britain and the US, his career spanned the arts in various capacities including stints as the president of The Saudi Arabian Society for Culture.

Prince Badr found critical and commercial success as a lyricist with songs performed Saudi Arabia's most illustrious musicians, including the late Talal Maddah and Mohammed Abdu as well as Emirati singer Ahlam and Kuwait’s Nawal El Kuwaitiah.

The latter also took to social media to pay tribute to a collaborator.

“The Prince, the great poet, friend, father and relative has passed away,” she said on X. “You will always remain in our hearts and the hearts of all those who love you.”

In 2019, Prince Badr was honoured by Unesco on World Poetry Day in a Paris ceremony where he recited a suite of his poetry.

Speaking at the ceremony, Unesco director general Audrey Azoulay praised Prince Badr’s work for its humane message.

“Every form of poetry is unique, but each reflects the universal of the human experience, the aspiration for creativity that crosses all boundaries and borders of time, as well as space in the constant affirmation of humanity as a single family. That’s the power of poetry,” she said.

The most popular poetry and music of Prince Badr

Prince Badr's most famous poem may have been Message from a Bedouin, released in 1990 and has remained a cornerstone in Saudi Arabia's literary circles.

Other notable poems included Important Clouds, A Painting, Perhaps a Poem, as well as What the Bird Inscribes on the Date of a Tree.

Only some of his work has been translated into English, including a selection published by Ithra in 2021, including Above the Peak of the Clouds, Coal, Swings, and On the Brook.

Some of Prince Badr's most popular songs include Nayand Mumkin Tawasalni (Can You Deliver Me) by Iraqi singer Kadim Al Saher and La'Anta Hares Lil Nujoom (You Are Not A Guard to the Stars) by Tunisia's Saber Al Rabei.

Lebanese singer Najwa Karam recently released a song with words provided by Prince Badr.

The ethereal ballad is full of metaphors as it compares the connection between lovers as those who seek great poetry stories.

In what could be one of Prince Badr’s last lyrical contributions, Karam sings: “If they ask my beloved about my name, my beloved … say this is me,”

Updated: May 06, 2024, 5:34 AM