The New York University in Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Institute, in collaboration with literary publication Banipal, hosted a public poetry reading and discussion by Emirati poets at the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
UAE-based poets Ahmed Rashid Thani, Khulood Al Mualla and Adel Khozam shared their works with the audience in their original form, with English translations read by literary experts Frank Dullaghan, Margaret Obank, and Alice Johnson. Banipal is an independent literary magazine that has been publishing contemporary authors and poets from all over the Arab world in English translation since the late 1990s. This October, with the support of the Emirates Foundation, they released Banipal 42, New Writing from the Emirates, in a celebration of modern Emirati literature. Works by 27 Emirati authors are presented and introduced in English translation both in the print publication and online.
“We are really indebted to the intrinsic ability for literature to travel across one culture to another,” publisher at Banipal Margaret Obank said, while opening the event.
“We realised that there were a number of Arab countries whose literature was hardly known in the West, and hardly known even in the Arab world. It was well timed to feature UAE literature, and it has proved very rewarding indeed.”
Adel Khozam, a poet, journalist and editor from the UAE, said: “This has provided me with a great opportunity to explore myself and my work in the English language and to introduce my work to a larger portion of the community living here in the UAE. Literature provides an excellent platform for us to get to know and understand different cultures.”