The Department of Publications and Translation at the Ministry of Culture published a collection of poems by the Qatari poet Saad Al-Misnad (Saad Al-Shaer). The publication combines years of research, collection and verification in order to capture the poetic experience of the poet Saad Bin Ali Al-Misnad; one of the literary and social icons of the city of Al-Khor in Qatar. The book is the first edition of this publication and contains 112 poems. Its broadsheet format comprises 263 pages, in which the writer and researcher Jumaa Bin Khamis Al-Ghawanim Al-Muraikhi, former director of the municipality of Al-Khor and Al-Thakhira, collected unpublished poems reflecting the kindness and generosity of the poet during his life, the high morals and values of the true Islamic religion, and what they expressed about him of a well-established patriotism. The Ministry of Culture explains in its introduction of the book that: “The author’s work is not limited to collecting; as the work includes classifying poems according to themes, and verifying their authenticity academically. The writer, indeed, depended on oral narratives and what he found of manuscripts. Therefore, the book is an important reference for all those interested in Nabati poetry (vernacular) in Qatar and the Arabian Peninsula.” In turn, Al-Raya newspaper hosted a number of those who witnessed the hard work made in the book, and those who made their contribution to this distinguished effort, as they talked about the value of such achievements to society, especially our younger generations. They also highlighted the poet and his value; and what publishing his book can add to the Qatari literary scene and the Gulf in general.
Mohammed Bin Hassan Al-Kuwari: Highlighting Our Literary Icons
Mr. Muhammad Bin Hassan Al-Kuwari, Director of Publications and Translation, expressed that the Ministry of Culture has the honor to issue this book of the collection of poems by Saad Al-Misnad, whose a distinguished cultural, literary and social icon in Qatar, stressing that this publication is part of his contributions in the field of poetry that he devoted to over many years. He added that it is the fruitful outcome of the effort exerted by researcher Juma Bin Khamis al-Muraikhi; a perfect work to introduce a great poet and to showcase an important cultural heritage side for new generations. In this context, he stressed that the Ministry of Culture is doing its utmost to support this quality of works which shed light on the literary and cultural icons of our country, explaining that the administration supports every new thought and everything that would enrich the literary scene and provide an addition to the libraries in Qatar. He also explained that the book is the first of its type on this great poet, as no work has been written on him despite the richness of his poetry works. Mr. Al-Kuwari added that Saad Al-Misnad’s works remained in manuscripts and could not be seen by all people; which increases the value of this new version.
Rashid Bin Saad Al-Mohannadi: The Book Marks an Addition to Local and Gulf Poetry Heritage
For his part, Mr. Rashid Bin Saad Al-Mohannadi, former director of the educational district of Al-Khor City, stressed on the value of bringing Saad Al-Shaer’s works into publication, saying that: “It is undoubtedly a great and valuable work, and a wonderful effort for which we thank the author, even if it does not encompass all the literary works of Saad Bin Ali, but the book recalls the biography of this great poet whose memory remained alive without a book comprising his poems due to his good reputation, high social status, noble attitudes, generosity, good deeds, high confidence and belief in God, being a man whom Allah blessed his supplications, and a man who loved good for all and helped people without hesitation. Mr. Al-Mohanadi added that talking about the poet and his value cannot be summed up in a short passage, or in adequate terms in a hurry; pointing out that this book represents a literary addition to the Qatari and Gulf poetry heritage to be acquired by those interested in his works. He also explained that visual media must have a distinct role in highlighting these literary achievements, and these distinguished personalities, to familiarize people with them inside and outside Qatar, and to highlight them as influential men in the social reality lived at that time. On the efforts that must be made to achieve more success in preserving our heritage, Mr. Al-Mohannadi stressed that the first of these is the return of the folk and heritage works that were collected, transcribed and documented by the former Gulf Heritage Center, and after that from the Folk Heritage Department of the Qatari Ministry of Information, and from the stores of Al-Rayyan TV, so that they don’t get lost or damaged in the future. He, moreover, added that the writers and authors concerned with heritage affairs at the Ministry of Culture and Katara should write books on all topics of Qatari heritage, each according to his/her domain, to be preserved in its channels and literary sections. At the end of the talk, Mr. Al-Mohanadi said: “I hope that we will find the full works of Saad Bin Ali, which we call: “The Bank”.
Juma Bin Khamis Al-Muraikhi: Preserving Heritage Across Generations Is a National Commitment
Mr. Juma Bin Khamis Al-Ghawanim Al-Muraikhi said that Saad Bin Ali Al-Misnad is one of the prominent poets in the history of Qatar and the Gulf region. He was also a “Nokhitha” (ship captain) and owned two “sambook” traditional ships for pearl diving named Falahi and Samhan. His generosity surpassed Qatar to support people across the entire gulf region. He was born in the city of Al Khor in approximately 1858 and died in 1946, and was a model to follow in generosity and trust in God in all matters of life. He was also distinguished by deep morals, uniqueness in poetic creativity, and belief and trust in God; which formed the poet’s major themes in his poetry. Mr. Al-Muraikhi points out that the most prominent thing that emphasizes these many good qualities is that despite his death nearly 76 years ago, his name and memory are still known in Al-Khor to this day, and that his son was also a great poet; Abdullah Bin Saad with one or more published books. Mr. Al-Muraikhi explains that this book is the first dedicated book to be published on the poet. Regarding the work mechanism that he used to complete this work, Mr. Al-Muraikhi says: “I obtained manuscripts representing parts of his book “The Bank” within the framework of contributions by those wishing to highlight the great literary role played by the poet, and, in 2002, I obtained the first part that helped me begin to accomplish this book, then the other parts followed.” He added that: “The first part was titled “The Guide for the Confused and Remover of Concerns and Ideas,” the second “The Rich Sea in What Saad Bin Ali the Poet Said,” and the third, “Reference in the Poems of the Zubarah War,” and although I was able to compile a number of poems, there are many of them that are still missing. In addition, we excluded more than 40 poems from the book of 112 poems, in which all contributors are mentioned; where the first part of the manuscripts was obtained by Mr. Ahmed Bin Abdul Latif Al-Misnad, while the second part was obtained by Mr. Saad Bin Ali Al-Hassan Al-Muhannadi and the third part was given by the grandson of the poet Saad Bin Rashid Al-Misnad. Mr. Ali bin Abdullah Al-Fayyadh, for his part, reviewed the book.”
On the reason for his interest in authoring Saad Al-Misnad’s book, Mr. Al-Muraikhi says that he is keen on preserving Qatar’s distinguished heritage as it belongs to the famous poets in the entire region, stressing that preserving that heritage and passing it on to next generations is a great national commitment that must be carried out by everyone who has the components for such works. He also confirmed that the work took a long time to complete, as on the one hand he was keen to adhere to accuracy in order to come out in the best form, and on the other hand he was keen to complete the work and submit it in 2022; the same year that will witness Qatar’s embracing of the FIFA World Cup- as this year is full of achievements at all levels like sports, culture, etc.
Saqr Bin Lahdan Al-Mohannadi: The Book Documents an Important Era in the History of Qatar
Researcher Saqr Bin Lahdan Al-Hassan Al-Muhannadi, for his part, says that Saad Al-Misnad (Al-Shaer) is one of the most prominent poets in Qatar during the era of the founder Sheikh Jassim Bin Muhammad Bin Thani, and his son Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani. His patriotic poetry was written in defense of Qatar and its people. The researcher mentions that one of the poet’s most prominent qualities is the scope of his intellect and fluency in Arabic, and his knowledge of rulers, men and poets, as he was one of the most prominent poets of Al-Ardah (group folk dance) in his time. He had his own ship and became its captain. Mr. Al-Mohannadi also affirms that Saad’s poems documented an important era in the history of the State of Qatar, adding that: “There is no doubt that such literary works link our children from the present generation to the generations and history of their fathers and grandfathers. In fact, the State has spared no effort in preserving local traditions and national identity, and in researching and documenting such works. It has thankfully allocated several departments and sections in several ministries in the State to research historical and literary topics, and encouraged and supported authors and writers to highlight their works.” Mr. Al-Mohannadi at the conclusion of his talk said: “I think the success of any kind of these heritage works can only be achieved by passing them through a committee specialized in Qatar’s history and heritage, and by relying on reliable sources such as oral history (narratives), reliable books and studies.”
Ali Bin Abdullah Al-Fayyad: The Book Is a Literary, Linguistic and Historical Wealth
Researcher Ali Bin Abdullah Al-Fayyad, Director of the Ali Bin Abdullah Al-Fayyad Library in Al-Shamal city in Qatar, also commented on this valuable publication by saying that the publication of a book on a poet like Saad Bin Ali Al-Misnad Al-Muhannadi, who was known as Saad Al-Shaer, is a great event that should be celebrated, as he is one of the most famous poets in Qatar during the mid-nineteenth century until the forties of the twentieth century. Mr. Al-Fayyad, moreover, noted that during this period the poet was one of the most prominent literary minds of Qatar and had well-known political and social roles; as he confronted and defended with his poetry his homeland, and created the most wonderful poems that will remain immortal in the memory of the homeland and its loyal generations. He encouraged the rich to help and support the poor. His poetry included morals and even love verses. Furthermore, he was known for his kindness, chivalry, bravery, gentleness, good manners, and his trust in God. He was also known for generosity, protecting and defending the needy or helpless. Many stories on such deeds travelled across the generations and are still known among locals.
Mr. Al-Fayyad also expressed his strong belief that this book is a literary, linguistic and historical wealth; as it will have a great value in return on our society and the new generations if they read it well, understand and study it in depth. He also confirmed that the book offers a wide scope to study the old Qatari dialect. Mr. Al-Fayyad, in addition, believes that there are efforts that should be made by writers, scholars and media professionals, each in their field; as they should pay attention to heritage, knowing that the academic researchers in history will benefit greatly from such books to extract many historical events that were not documented in books. Mr. Al-Fayyadh, moreover, calls for more effort to be made to collect, preserve and disseminate the knowledge on traditions and heritage; stressing the need to find a permanent plan and a center or institution concerned with preserving the heritage so that its content and materials do not remain uncollected or undocumented, and that such works in this field require diligence, perseverance, determination because the path of research in heritage is hard, arduous, and depends on field work. Finally, Mr. Al-Fayyad invites the young generations to read the Qatari cultural heritage and folk literature in order to know and learn from the lives of their esteemed grandfathers and fathers who struggled and risked their lives for the sake of a decent life and to build for us the foundations of great glory; in which we are living today.