Friday, 13 September 2013

Today's Poet: May Ziade from The Lebanon

The Lebanon was part of the Ottoman Empire at the start of the First World War.

May was born Marie Ziadeh in Nazareth in 1886 and died in Cairo in 1941.   Her work in French, Italian, English and Arabic constitutes some of the most important poetry and prose written by women in the Arab world.  She was also a supporter of the emancipation of Arab women.   In 1921 May organised a Conference entitled "Le but de la vie", calling upon Arab women to aspire towards freedom without losing their femininity or their own cultural identity.

I am extremely grateful to the following people who I have discovered through various serious poetry appreciation pages on Facebook for having been able to include May Ziade in my List of Female Poets of the First World War:

Suzanne Daou - writer and translator from The Lebanon - who found me a great deal of information

Marietta - a modern Lebanese poet - who suggested I contact Suzanne

Michael J. Whelan - a modern Irish poet - who suggested I contact Marietta

Thank you all so much - your help, support and advice means a great deal to me.

I hope to include details of May in my next exhibition and also in Volume II of "Female Poets of the First World War".