The Poet of Baghdad at UCL
18 May 2007
On 17 May 2007, UCL welcomed the Iraqi poet Nabeel Yasin, who has recently returned from his first trip back to Baghdad after several years.
A capacity audience was enthralled by his passionate reading in Arabic of some of his poems, with English versions read by Jo Tatchell, the author of 'Nabeel's Song: A Family Story of Survival in Iraq', a biography of the poet.
The evening was hosted by Professor Michael Worton, Vice-Provost (Academic & International), who, after the reading, led discussion with Nabeel on topics covering the place of poetry in the modern world, the importance of the oral tradition, Nabeel's experience of exile, and his reactions on his recent return visit to Baghdad.
The audience was particularly moved by Nabeel's explanations of why he felt optimism and hope about the future for Iraq.
The evening was sponsored by the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, with whom UCL is developing a partnership involving scholarships, cultural heritage activities and intercultural events. The foundation was represented at the reading by its director, Carolyn Perry.
To find out more about the foundations, or UCL's relations with Iraq, use the links at the bottom of this article.
Image: Jo Tatchell and Nabeel Yasin