Different Dialogues : Dr. Shihab Ghanem

In conversation with Dr. Shihab Ghanem - Poet.
Educational background: Master’s Degree in Engineering. Ph. D in Economics.

Before I spoke to Dr. Shihab Ghanem — in a very informal setting of our drawing room, the Emirati poet had just recited a favourite poem of his. For us, the poem Bakhbookh, broke the barriers of a foreign language, because the poet had instantly reinforced the Arabic content of Bakhbookh by translating it into English. On our enthusiastic requests, he recited a few more verses, drawing them from his memory. The spontaneous backward and forward exploration of meanings converted the evening into a string of melodies.

Meet Dr. Shihab Ghanem. He is a leading poet of the U.A.E and the foremost translator of Indian poetry into Arabic. To his credit, he has more than ten anthologies of poetry in the Arabic language. He has also published more than sixteen collections of translated poems from Arabic into English, and from English, or, other foreign languages (through English) into Arabic. His favourite English poets include Shakespeare and Auden.

A widely traveled man, some of the countries Dr. Shihab Ghanem has visited on cultural basis are England (Cambridge Annual Literary Seminar), Kuwait (Al Babateen Seminar + Al Qurain Seminar + Invitation by Ministry of Culture to visit Cultural Institutions), Tunis (Al Babateen Seminar), Algeria (Al Babateen Seminar), India (Cultural visit to Kerala by Ministry of Tourism), Egypt (Translation Seminar), Saudi Arabia (Al Janadiriyah Seminar more than once), Bahrain (Poetry Seminar).

Dr. Shihab Ghanem is a recipient of numerous high-ranking awards and a well-respected figure on the poetry and literary forums. Always moving with his constant companions, the quill and books, Dr. Shihab Ghanem is working on several projects, currently. Among the Arab poets, Dr. Shihab Ghanem respects his father M. A. Ghanem, Al Mutanabi, Ahmed Shawqi for their verse.

Q 1. What has been the turning point of your life?
A. Several incidents, I treat them as turning points in my life. Reading the Quran for the first time. Getting married and becoming a father. Going away to study in UK and India. Even the process of composing poems and subsequently seeing them in published form is in a way like being the turning point.

Q 2. If you could go back in time, what would you want to do?
A. I would avoid all the mistakes I have made in my life. I would focus on one specialization in my studies and learn some basic useful skills.

Q 3. What are your future dreams?
A. My dream is that the world becomes more peaceful, and that Palestine: the last occupied country in the world be liberated so that the Middle-East becomes stable and our children and grand-children and all the Arabs can then focus on education, economic, social and political development.

For more information, click on to http://shihabghanem.blogspot.com

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