Saturday, May 27, 2006

I was quite pleased to be in the same program with Iraqi poet, Lami`ah `Abbas `Amarah. I was ten years old when I heard her read her poetry in 1970 on Lebanese TV. And I was so impressed, and even developed a crush on her at the time. I ran to get a copy of her book, `Iraqiyyah, as soon as it came out. And she then lived in the civil war years in Lebanon, and did not produce, and remained silent. She came after the Israeli invasion to San Diego where she is settled now. I met Ms. `Amarah today for the first time, and told her about my early admiration. The hosts even asked me to introduce her as many Arabs may not know of her poetic skills and great reciting skils too. She was probably the first contemporary public female poet. She has been writing as of late, and will collect her works in one volume, she told me. Her relatives are working to launch a website for her work. She still has the same great reading talents after all these years. I shall, whenever I have time, translate some of her poetry on this site. She wrote one about the plight of Arabs in America after Sep. 11 that I will certainly translate.