I had the chance to meet with young Saudi poet Lama Feher Alsharif. She’s recently published a collection of her poems, Not Me, which explores questions of identity. Whether as a woman, a human, an Arab, a Muslim, a Saudi, a sister, a daughter, a friend… identifying oneself to oneself is the element that underlays all else.
Her poetry is passionate, as in ‘Violated yet Undefeated’:
You’ve come to us to liberate
Embellished with white, red and blue
all you’ve done is violate
of our strength you haven’t a clue
It’s personal as in ‘My Father’:
My father is of the greatest men
Who walk this earth today
All he wishes is for his children
To never be led astray
The poetry is, to my mind, of mixed quality, something not uncommon for a young writer. But Ms Alsharif shows promise. I hope she can find a Western publisher to give her greater exposure.