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Illustration by Prakrati Mamtani

Al-Diwan: Exploring Arabic Poetry and Literature at NYU Abu Dhabi

Discover the beauty of Arabic poetry with Al-Diwan, the Arabic poetry and literature Student Interest Group on campus.

Have you ever wondered what Arabic poetry is like? Al-Diwan is the Arabic poetry and literature student interest group (SIG) on campus that showcases the beauty of the Arabic language. Both Arabic and non-Arabic speakers are welcome to engage with the SIG and contribute in their own ways.
Al-Diwan is a word derived from the word “دوّن” which means to keep record of, to write down, or to register. Al-Diwan represents a collection of poems brought together into one book. That’s the core of our SIG: to introduce individuals from different backgrounds, cultures, and languages to Arabic poetry and for us to revive our own knowledge. We look at all Arabic poetry and poets starting from pre-Islamic Arabia, up to the modern era.
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Image One: Al-Diwan’s First Campus Event
Al-Diwan had its first event on Feb. 23, where members, such as myself, introduced the goals of our SIG to the students.
Al-Diwan also co-hosted three Rooftop Rhythm events, which is The Middle East’s longest-running poetry open mic. Members of the SIG contributed by performing Arab poetry of their own.
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Image Two: Student Performing at Rooftop Rhythms
The third Rooftop Rhythm event was on March 31 and took place in the Black Box.
Overall, Al-Diwan is a valuable resource for university students interested in Arabic poetry and culture. This SIG encourages cultural exchange and understanding by uniting people from diverse backgrounds, while also providing students with the opportunity to develop a greater appreciation for the intricacies and beauty of the Arabic language through the study of its poetry. This group also offers a unique opportunity for students to develop critical thinking skills and to express themselves creatively through writing. For those who are passionate about Arabic poetry, Al-Diwan is a community that offers a supportive and stimulating environment to learn, create, and connect. Follow us on Instagram @aldiwannyu and keep an eye out for future events!
Roudha Almarzouqi is a Staff Writer. Email her at
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