On Monday, Google Doodle honoured Emirati poet Ousha Al Suwaidi, who inspired female poets throughout the region, with an illustration of her in traditional attire, including a face covering.
Al Suwaidi was known for writing Nabati poems, or traditional poetry originating among the nomadic Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula. She was nicknamed ‘Fatat Al Khaleej’ (The Girl of the Gulf).
Al Suwaidi was born in Al Ain on January 1, 1920. She rose to national prominence at the age of 15 in what was traditionally a male-dominated field of literature.
Many of her poems, which touch on themes such as love, wisdom, patriotism, and nostalgia, were inspired by the Arabian Gulf and desert landscapes, as well as her own experiences in the UAE.
She is regarded as one of the best Arabic Nabati poets, with many of her poems being sung by well-known Emirati and Arab artists.
On this day in 2011, a prestigious literary event recognised her contributions, and many of Al Suwaidi’s poems and poems written in her honour were read aloud at the event.
In 2011, the UAE poetry community established an annual award in Ousha Al Suwaidi’s honour for female Emirati poets. According to her biography, a library at Emirates International School and a section of the Women’s Museum in Dubai were also named in her honour.
Al Suwaidi died in 2018 at the age of 98.