Legendary Emirati poet Ousha Al Suwaidi dies aged 98

Dubai Ruler leads tributes to one of the UAE's finest Arabic Nabati poets known as Fatat Al Arab

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, OCTOBER 21, 2014. Poetry by Ousha Bint Khalifa at the Women's Museum in Deira also called the Bait Al Banat.  (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Melanie Swan. Section: National.
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid led tributes on Friday mourning the death of Ousha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi, a famous Emirati poet known as Fatat Al Arab. She was 98.

"Our country lost a great symbol of literature, wisdom and poetry. Ousha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Fatat Al Arab," the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai tweeted on Friday.

“May Allah have mercy on her and rest her soul in Paradise and grant patience and solace to her family and us,” he said.

"Fatat Al Arab has left behind treasures of literature and poetry which will continue to tell her biography and she will always be remembered."

The 98-year-old poet was born and raised in Al Ain in 1920 and moved later in life to Dubai.

She is regarded as among the finest Arabic Nabati poets with a large number of her poems sung by popular Emirati and Arab artists.

Her works even inspired the poetry of Sheikh Mohammed. He honoured her in 1989 with his first published collection where he coined her nickname: Fatat Al Arab.

There is an entire floor dedicated to her work at Women’s Museum in Dubai.


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Her funeral will be held after Friday prayers at Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque in Dubai. She will be buried in Al Quoz cemetery.

Noura Al Kaabi, the Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, described Ousha as an exceptional figure with a history of outstanding contributions to the local cultural scene.

"She is a popular contemporary poet known for her rich contents and multiple creativity, the cultural scene will miss a golden pen and full of giving talent,” she tweeted.

Prominent Emirati patron of the arts Sheikh Sultan Al Qassemi also noted her death on Twitter.

"What distinguished her was that she did not shy from making available recordings of her poetry in her own voice," he said.

Dubai Culture sent its sincere condolences to her family and the literary community. It tweeted: