Biography of Ahmad Shawqi
Ahmed Shawqi (1868–1932) (Arabic: أحمد شوقي, Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [ˈʔæħmæd ˈʃæwʔi]), nicknamed Amir al-Sho'araã (which literally means the prince of poets), was one of the greatest Arabic poets laureate, an Egyptian poet and dramatist who pioneered the modern Egyptian literary movement, most notably introducing the genre of poetic epics to the Arabic literary tradition. On the paternal side he was of Circassian, Greek and Kurdish descent, and on the maternal side of Turkish and Greek descent.
Raised in a privileged setting with Turkish, Kurdish, Circassian, Greek, and Arab roots, his family was prominent and well-connected with the court of the Khedive of Egypt. Upon graduating from high school, he attended law school, obtaining a degree in translation. Shawqi was then offered a job in the court of the Khedive Abbas II, which he immediately accepted.
After a year working in the court of the Khedive, Shawqi was sent to continue his studies in Law at the Universities of Montpellier and Paris for three years. While in France, he was heavily influenced by the works of French playwrights, most notably Molière and Racine. He returned to Egypt in 1894, and remained a prominent member of Arab literary culture until the British forced him into exile in southern Spain, Andalusia, in 1914. Shawqi remained there until 1920, when he returned to Egypt. In 1927 he was crowned by his peers Amir al-Sho’araa’ (literally, "the Prince of Poets") in recognition of his considerable contributions to the literary field.
He used to live in ‘Karmet Ibn Hani’ or Ibn Hani’s Vineyard at Al-Matariyyah area near the palace of the Khedive Abbas II at Saray El-Qobba until he was exiled. After returning to Egypt he built a new house at Giza which he named the new Karmet Ibn Hani. He met Mohammed Abdel Wahab, and introduced him for the first time to art, making him his protégé as he gave him a suite in his house. The house later on became Ahmed Shawki Museum and Mohammed Abdel Wahab became one of the most famous Egyptian composers.
Shawqi’s work can be categorized into three main periods during his career. The first coincides with the period during which he occupied a position at the court of the Khedive, consisting of eulogies to the Khedive: praising him or supporting his policy. The second comprised the period of his exile in Spain. During this period, his feeling of nostalgia and sense of alienation directed his poetic talent to patriotic poems on Egypt as well as the Arab world and panarabism. The third stage occurred after his return from exile, during that period he became preoccupied with the glorious history of Ancient Egypt and Islam. This was the period during which he wrote his religious poems, in praise of the Prophet Muhammad. The maturation of his poetic style was also reflected in his plays, the most notable of which were published during this period.
He died in 1932.
Ahmad Shawqi Poems
Stand For Teacher
Stand for the teacher and honor his rank... ...for a teacher is almost as a prophet Do you know of someone nobler than... ...he who nurtures minds and hearts
Nahj Al Burda (The Way Of The Mantle)
On the plain, between the ban-tree and the mountain, a white gazelle-fawn
Peace from the northern wind that swept across Barada River. As long as that wind sweeps, tears would be everlasting upon Damascus. I excuse from all pens and rhymes if couldn't express the matter. About its disaster catastrophic events, the pen couldn't describe.
O' God !
O' God ! I wander all day and pine through time, And seek some comfort in my rhyme. The noblest of rhymes overflow with love, The sweetest line - the musical and pure - Are written down for the heart as a cure.
Stop and enjoy your eyes with the beautiful nature. What you see is the marvelous creating of Creator. Earth and sky were shaking at rejoice attractively. Under wonderful miracles bless with delightfully.
Expatriation And Nostagia
Day and night make one forget So, tell me about my early days And describe that period of my youth that was shaped by imagination Blew like the playful Saba (wind) and gone Like a sweet drowse and a quick pleasure
What Is The Moon
Oh mother, how does the sky look? And what is light and what is the moon? About their beauty you speak, but I don't see any of it.
I consider life a road Upon which the masses travel Toward specific missions And other goals.
Latitudes Beneath Your Eyelids
Is a draught that slakes. Those volumes left me cross-eyed, condemned, naked
The Dog And The Pigeon
Here is the tale of the dog and the pigeon A veritable testimony to the noble character of them both.
An Encounter With A Mother Cat
I shall never forget a night in Ramadan, Long and somber like the polar nights I had just entered my room After finishing my last meal before daybreak;
They Tricked Her Is Saying Belle
They deceived her Saying she is beautiful And the beautiful are tempted With praise, Does she pretend to forget my name When many lovers fall in her love
Death Overcomes Upon Everyone Is Alive
Death overcomes upon everyone is alive undoubtedly. Yet it harvests all generations up to now follow sequently. Bygone people left the life century after century. Neither foregone nor come after shall remain finally.
The Sultan's Companion
A Sultan once had a faithful companion Always repeating verbatim
Peace from the northern wind that swept across Barada River.
As long as that wind sweeps, tears would be everlasting upon Damascus.
I excuse from all pens and rhymes if couldn't express the matter.
About its disaster catastrophic events, the pen couldn't describe.
Its reminiscence on my heart still is glimpsing.
My heart palpates and never can forget it.
The catastrophic event you complain and suffer.
Resulted into, the pain of my heart on its deep wound.
I inter Damascus when the dusk