Yesterday, Monday, November 28, the global search engine “Google” celebrated the Emirati poet Aisha Al-Suwaidi, nicknamed “The Girl of the Arabs”, who is considered one of the pioneers of Nabati poetry in the UAE and the Arab region, and a milestone in the march of Nabati poetry, as her image topped the main search page.
And "Arab Girl" is the Emirati poet Aisha bint Khalifa bin Ahmed bin Khalifa Al Suwaidi, who was born in 1920 in Al Muwaiji, Al Ain, and spent most of her life there. Aisha grew up in a house of knowledge and religion, and men of knowledge and sheikhs did not leave her father’s council, and at the age of 12 she began writing poetry, and composed 100 measured poems within about a month.
Al-Suwaidi was initially known as the “Girl of the Gulf” until His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, called her the “Girl of the Arabs”, after honoring and awarding her the Medal of the Principality of Poetry in the World of Popular Poetry in 1989.
Poet Awsha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi won the Abu Dhabi Award at its fifth session in 2009 in recognition of her efforts and poetic giving, as she contributed to bringing the Emirati poem to new horizons of spread. Her poems are also considered witness to great historical social and literary transformations in the Emirates in particular, the Gulf and the Arabs in general. In addition, the Emirati song, through its poems, was widely spread, and its lyrics were sung by many artists, such as Jaber Jassim, Ali bin Rogha, Mehd Hamad, and many others.
During her career, Aousha Al-Suwaidi presented many poems in various fields of poetry, such as spinning, social criticism, praise, and Islamic studies, and was influenced by Al-Majidi bin Dhaher and Al-Mutanabbi, as well as the great poets, such as the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ahmed Al-Kindi, Omair bin Rashid, and Saeed bin Hilal Al-Dhaheri, and she retired from poetry in the late nineties and continued to narrate her poetry in praising the Messenger, may God bless him and grant him peace.
“Girl of the Arabs” published her poems in many newspapers, magazines, and audiobooks. They were collected in the collection of “Girl of the Arabs” in 1990, by the poet Hamad bin Khalifa Bushhab, of which a second edition was published.
Aousha Al Suwaidi passed away in July 2018 in Dubai at the age of 98, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum mourned her, and in honor of her position, in 2020, the Aousha Bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi Award was launched in its first session, under the slogan “It rhymes like a rock smooth”, as the award is considered an inspiring national cultural gesture, and a celebration of the centenary of the “Arab Girl”, within the framework of perpetuating her poetic legacy full of history, authentic local spirit, and abundant vocabulary that is an important linguistic reference for the people of the region in general, and for the people of the Emirates in particular. The award also comes as a tribute to her prestige and her eternal poetic talent, and to consolidate the role of Emirati women and their influential presence in the cultural and literary arena, as they are considered one of the schools of Nabati poetry in the region.