As a woman who grew up with a book tucked under her arm at all times, it is almost impossible for me to spend my free time doing anything other than reading. I’ve read countless books, some more than once, and nothing excites me more than getting a new paperback in the mail. Kuwait is filled with countless restaurants, but I always believe that the real comfort food comes from the pages of a wonderful story.
Hamad Al-Zemami is a captivating Kuwaiti writer I’ve had the distinct pleasure of discovering in the past month. Though reading Arabic literature is not my forte, I haven’t been able to put his books down, reading and re-reading every line and letting every word touch my soul.
A 25 year-old business administration graduate from the American University of Kuwait, Hamad Al-Zemami began writing at the tender age of 12. Since then, his talent began to consume him and unfurl, and he found his calling whenever his pen kissed the lined pages of his notebook. To Hamad, writing is not a hobby or a profession, but a passion. Finding inspiration in the simplest things and the people he encounters, Hamad’s brilliant mind unleashes endless thoughts and phrases that intertwine to form some of the most incredible literary masterpieces I have ever come across. You can feel his unabashed emotions in every word, painting pictures in our minds and letting them play out like flickering scenes in a vivid short movie.
Hamad has already published two books, and is currently working on his third. His first book, “Hubbi, Hebri, Wakalemati (My Love, My Ink & My Words)” is a collection of beautifully written narrations and short stories regarding humanitarian and ethical issues in respect to love, his country, and its people; all told from this gifted writer’s perspective. His second book, “Tarateel (Hymns)”, compiles poetry that correlates to the main themes of his first book, weaving an intricate tapestry of words, stanza after stanza. Through his writing, you can capture the essence of the beauty he sees in people, places, and everyday things – his appreciation for the smallest details is a trait that we rarely come across in such a fast-paced world.
With Arabic literature seen as a dying art form, Hamad Al-Zemami’s work is no laughing matter. He has been labeled by his fans as a modern-day Nizar Qabbani, and his fine works prove them right time and time again. His work-in-progress, a novel titled “Mudun Al-Sama’ (Cities of the Sky)” is an amorous renaissance, redefining love entirely. Hamad has been sharing snippets and quotes from his upcoming novel with his fans via Twitter and Facebook, leaving them yearning for more until its anticipated release in June. Reading Hamad’s “Mudun Al-Sama’” teasers really makes one wonder if a love so strong and passionate truly exists in the real world, and makes one question oneself what one has to do to achieve it.
If you haven’t read this prevailing genius’ writings, I highly suggest you do so. Take some time out and allow yourself to be completely immersed in Hamad’s inimitable language. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Hamad Al-Zemami’s books can be found at Virgin Megastore Kuwait.
– Farah Bishara