Egyptian playwright and poet Maysara Salah Eddine believes his experience with theatre influenced his poetry and reshaped his knowledge and experience as a poet and human being.
He has published several poetry collections and written plays and musicals — for which he received numerous Egyptian and Arab awards and recognitions — and has participated in cultural and art festivals and events. Some of his poems have been translated to English, Italian, and Spanish, and several of his works have been turned into plays.
He has also translated several literary masterpieces, including Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart’s ‘Shuggie Baine,’ ‘The Letters of Stefan Zweig,’ and American poet Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar.’
In ‘Ibn El Sobh’ (Son of the Morning), his latest poetry collection in Egyptian Arabic, he takes a closer look at man’s weakness, his desire to blend into society, and the raging battles deep within his soul.
Salah Eddine refuses to label his collection, for “a poet may label their work however they like but the fact remains that such label would be a personal classification that does not necessarily reflect the truth.”
He adds: “Writing this collection exhausted me on a psychological, personal, and creative level. I spent six years writing, editing, and rewriting the poems, until I felt satisfied that it reflected what I was thinking and feeling when I wrote it.”
Naguib El Rihani documentary
Building on his experience in theatre, Salah Eddine recently partook in a documentary on the life of the late artist Naguib El Rihani on AlWathaeqyaTV.
Perhaps El Rihani — who worked closely with the renowned popular poet Badie Khairy — is a fitting choice for a young writer like Salah Eddine trying to walk a path forged by such artistic legends as El Rihani and Khairy, who left an indelible mark on the Egyptian collective conscience.
“I cannot stress how important it is for Egypt to have a documentary channel that allows us to present our stories to the world in a meaningful way. Egyptian history is full of events and personalities whose lives and achievements deserve further research, analysis, and attention.”