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Poetry and literature in the UAE

Poets are revered in the UAE, so much so that two million people recently tuned in to watch a show called Prince of Poets, where would-be bards from across the Arab world went head-to-head to win the coveted prize.  

 

The style and form of ancient poetry in the UAE (Nabati) was strongly influenced by the eighth-century Gulf Arab scholar Al Khalil Bin Ahmad Al Farahidi, a philologist who wrote verse in 16 metres and devised a new writing system known as Tashkil to differentiate the vowels in Arabic script. His reform is an essential element of the identity of the Arabic language today.

The earliest-known poet in the UAE is Ibn Majid, the author of 40 works of poetry and prose and also a well-known navigator who was born between 1432 and 1437 in the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.


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