SHARJAH, UAE: In its latest virtual Book Club event, Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) hosted Emirati novelist, poet, and critic Sultan Alameemi, who spoke passionately about his love for literature, and told his fans that reading and researching heavily on culture and heritage laid the foundation for the flair and diversity he brings to his writing.
The prolific writer of both prose and poetry, in which he has built his repertoire in both Nabati and classical Arabic styles, however, admitted to the session’s moderator Nada Al Shaibani, that the writing process becomes increasingly challenging with each book he publishes.
“Reading is the foundation for writing because it expands the author’s knowledge. It introduces writers to new ideas and vocabulary, protectingthem from falling prey to repetition, or generating content similar to what their peers might have released,” explained Sultan, who serves as the Director of the Poetry Academy at the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.
Stressing on how the creative process starting from ideation to the fruition of any literary form usually takes years, he said: “It took me four years to complete my novel, P.O 1003, and twoyears to mature the storyline for One Room Is Not Enough. I have been preparing for my upcoming novel for the past three years.”
He advised aspiring writers to diversify the content they read, and emphasied the need to broaden their lexicon by going in-depth into geography, history, medicine, geology and engineering,to be able to create full, comprehensive characters.
Elaborating on why he ventured into the world of poetry,Alameemitalked about his deep interest in Emirati poetry, national identity, as well the region’s history and geography. He also noted that the transfromations in the Emirati dialect influenced by poetry, prose, storytelling and folk tales fascinated him and inspired his journey as a poet.
Alameemi, who is currently working on the creation a dictionary for Emirati dialect words,stressed the need for greater academic efforts to research and document every aspect of the Emirati history. He pointed out that the dictionary he is working on chronicles vocabulary, which has become obsolete due to linguistic transformations.
Before signing off, the novelist advised book lovers to dive deep into every possible literary form, genre and style there is to explore, without being influenced by people’s opinions of list of top-sellers, to be able to decide independteny on the forms they are most fond of.
SBA’s Book Club’s sessions align with its mission and efforts aimed at promoting a culture of reading and enhancing the cultural landscape.