Thousands of primary school pupils in the United Kingdom have been learning about the region’s pearling industry, the oil boom and the culture of coffee in the Arabian Gulf thanks to the efforts of a British couple.
Clive Holes, a dialectologist, and his wife, Deidre, have translated examples of the oral debate-poetry that was a popular form of expression for Bedouins in Arabia in the early part of the last century.
They painstakingly converted these Arabic “artistic texts” into English-language reading material for the Hamilton Trust – a UK-based online teachers’ resource centre.
And now they are starting work with teachers in the Emirates to integrate their adaptations into English courses and history lessons here.
As part of this effort, they will lead a workshop on November 5, exclusively for teachers, on the history of oral poetry and its use in the classroom at the Nabati Poetry Conference organised by the Dubai International Writers’ Centre.
This article is extracted from Elan: The Voices We Love. The Stories We Live, read more ….