Farah Chamma evolving through poetry

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Updated 12 August 2013
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Farah Chamma evolving through poetry

Farah Chamma is a Palestinian poet, studying law and political science at the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. She began writing poetry at the age of 14 at around the same time she began exploring her personal relationship with her faith. Farah writes poetry in English, Arabic, and French using a variety of lyrical and linguistic styles. Her work can mainly be described as introspective. She is one of the youngest members of Poeticians, a group of poets and writers from the Middle East. She has been engaged in performance poetry and spoken word since 2008 and has participated in many events and competitions including the SIKKA Art Fair and the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature. In 2012, she organized and hosted “Sip of Poetry” in Abu Dhabi, a poetry evening featuring various poets from the region. She is currently working on launching a student-led poetry group with the help of award-winning poet and hip-hop artist, Paul D, aiming to encourage spoken word performances in colleges and universities.

How powerful in your opinion is the spoken word?
I think the spoken word is the most powerful way for poetry to spread in our world today. Performed poem spreads much faster than the written one. I also think it’s a powerful art since it combines both literary and theatrical skills, giving more space for creativity.

What got you into poetry?
I started writing at the age of 14, but my “real” experience with poetry began when I first performed in front of an audience with the Dubai-based poetry group the Poeticians- I was around 15. Ever since, I have been engaging in performance poetry.

What inspires Farah Chamma?
What mostly inspires me to write is the audience, which always proves to be supportive and thirsty for more art and performance. Whenever I sit down to write, I think of the individuals that would appreciate with sincerity every word that is to be written.

Your poem “How Must I believe” was circulated all over social media sites, what is the feedback and what inspired you to write it?
The majority of the feedback is very encouraging, however, I received some criticism regarding both the language of the poem and its content. Some found that the Arabic language with which the poem was written is weak, which is understandable as my poem “How Must I Believe?” is one of my first written Arabic pieces (having been educated in an American school and written poetry in English mainly). Others found the poem to be too polemic and the majority misunderstood the poem to be a declaration of atheism, which is not the case at all.

Who are your favorite poets?
Tamim Al Barghouti, Hisham El Gakh, and T.S. Eliot. .

https://twitter.com/FarahChamma

You can also watch her video of the poem “How Must I believe” here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVodbIi798w

[email protected]


Dingo drags sleeping toddler from bed on Australia's Fraser Island

A father had to pull his son from the jaws of a dingo after it had dragged the sleeping toddler from a camper van on Australia's popular Fraser Island. (Reuters)
Updated 22 April 2019
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Dingo drags sleeping toddler from bed on Australia's Fraser Island

  • Dingoes, introduced to Australia about 4,000 years ago, are protected in Queensland state's national parks, World Heritage areas, Aboriginal reserves and the Australian Capital Territory

SYDNEY: A dingo dragged a sleeping toddler from a camper van on a popular Australian holiday island late on Thursday, but his father awoke and pulled his 14-month-old son from the jaws of the dog-like dingo.
"The parents woke up to the baby screaming and chased after him and had to fight the dingoes off to take the 14-month-old boy away," paramedic Ben Du Toit told local media on Friday.
The boy suffered head and neck injuries in the attack on Fraser Island off the northeast coast and was taken to hospital.
Australia's dingo is a protected species on Fraser Island and are a popular attraction for camping tourists. The latest dingo attack was the third this year on Fraser Island.
In 1980 baby Azaria Chamberlain disappeared from a tent in a camping ground in Australia's outback, with her mother claiming she was taken by a dingo. The baby's body was never found, creating a mystery that captivated Australians for years and was made into a book and a film with Meryl Streep and Sam Neill.
Azaria's mother Lindy was jailed for three years over her daughter's death before later being cleared, but it wasn't until 2012 that a court ruled that a dingo killed Azaria.
Dingoes, introduced to Australia about 4,000 years ago, are protected in Queensland state's national parks, World Heritage areas, Aboriginal reserves and the Australian Capital Territory. Elsewhere, they are a declared pest species.
Dingoes hold a significant place in the spiritual and cultural practices of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Fraser Island's dingo population is estimated to be around 200, with packs of up to 30 dogs roaming the island, according to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.
The department warns that generally dingoes go about their lives and stay clear of people. "From time to time, dingoes may come close and some encounters can turn to tragedy," a statement on the department's website warns. "Stay alert and stay calm."