Saif Al Rahbi
Biography of Saif Al Rahbi
Saif al-Rahbi (born 1956) is an Omani poet, essayist and writer. He was born in Oman in a village called Suroor. In 1970, while he was still in his early teens, al-Rahbi was sent to school in Cairo. Afterwards, he lived and worked abroad for many years, in Cairo, Damascus, Algeria, Paris and London among others.
Al-Rahbi's third poetry collection The Bells of Rapture (1985) marked his arrival as an important new voice in Arabic poetry. At the time he was living in Paris. Eventually, he returned to Oman and established Nizwa, Oman's leading quarterly cultural magazine. Currently, he is editor-in-chief of the magazine.
Al-Rahbi has published several books of poetry and prose till date. His work has appeared in Banipal magazine, where he also serves as a consulting editor. He was on the judging panel of the 2010 Arabic Booker Prize, and he was also a judge of Beirut39, a competition held in 2009-10 to identify the most promising young Arab writers.
Saif Al Rahbi Poems
Our Old House
It's as if I'm walking through valleys, filled with fear,
Bells Will Not Toll Tonight
The storm in front of my door will not subside tonight.
When I travel to a country, rumours precede me there,
From My Room To The Café
In the morning when I wake up, the world wakes in my head
I walk, I feel under my feet a sky, trembling with all its victims,
When I go out, I leave the music on
Our Old House
It's as if I'm walking
through valleys, filled with fear,
valleys I can neither touch
nor easily recall.
As if I'm taking that first step there,
I walk into our old house, and find emaciated horses,
the ghosts of our ancestors
wander amongst their neighings.
The door opens onto this desert of absence