Mariam Al Daheri learned to love poetry by listening to her parents and grandparents recite verses that recounted UAE history, the 23-year-old graduate of Zayed University told Gulf News.
It was no surprise then that she chose poetry for her final-year project.
Merging popular Emirati poetry with her love for history, Mariam turned in Our History, Their Words, a 32-page document that was selected for the College of Arts and Science Dean's Award at Zayed University's 10th Annual Academic Symposium last week.
Mariam said the country's historical accounts come mainly from British records of the Trucial States so she decided to draw contrasts between these records and oral tradition and poetic accounts from Emiratis who lived during that period.
"For example, we all know that in 1910 there was a conflict between the locals and the British troops. The troops had claimed the locals owned guns, and on this pretext, entered the homes of the locals while the men were at Friday prayers. On returning, a conflict ensued and two British troops were killed," she said.
"What history skims over is the fact that 40 Emiratis were also killed in the skirmish. The deaths of his people, along with the Rs50,000 fine imposed on Dubai Ruler Shaikh Buti bin Suhail Al Maktoum left him terribly distraught.
His poetry shows how bad he felt for the deceased and their families, and how he was saddened because he could not feed guests who visited his home," she added.
Judging by Mariam's words, the project could be the beginning of an initiative that she one day hopes to expand and publish.
"After all, it is important to record both sides of the story before one gets lost," the young graduate said with a smile.
From / Gulf News