The World Poetry Ambassador AMITA SANGHVI from Oman, phoned in and hosted from Oman on World Poetry Poetry Cafe, CFRO 1005.FM, June 13th 2019 ; the poet Ali Mehdi who was keen on peace and was a poet and a wonderful short story writer.
This is the first in the series of the World Poetry Ambassador whose goal is to introduce poets from Oman to the world . World Poetry Canada International hopes that other W.P.C. ambassadors will do the same in their different countries. Also, at the Vancouver, BC Coop Radio Station were: Ariadne Sawyer, MA, host and producer , host Dr. Diego Bastinutti. super tech, Victor Schwartzman and special volunteer, Sharon Rowe.
Ali Mehdi juggled in many roles as a poet, a columnist and a prolific blogger and writer. He initiated several blog sites that were very popular among his generation; there sites were:
Sleepless in Muscat
Oman Community Blog
A Secret Arabian Journal
Pens of Passion
Gonu Relief Blog
Hope of Islam
Ali Mehdi published three collections of his poetry: Rapidly Blue (2002), Wondrous World (2005) and his posthumous book, ‘In the Dimmest of Light’ (2008) and numerous columns and articles on his blog sites, the online edition of the Times of Oman, Oman Daily Observer, The Week and Sultan Qaboos University’s Horizon.
On reading ‘Wondrous World’ I had this initial impression/ reflection on his poems.
Amidst cathartic out-pour of thoughts and wishes, I have found and collected the ‘real gems’, those words and phrases, lyrical images and metaphors, that capture and represent the mindful philosophical Ali.
The jewel collection which I am editing and will soon be published, will contain edited poetry from all his three books, re-edited for impact. The essence of his poetry has its impact in brevity; where each poem hammers and echoes universal feelings and invaluable meaning. These priceless ‘jewels’ I have gathered and edited his poems from across his entire works. Here are a few:
In the eye of Death,
In the eye of Death.
I’m not that kind of a person,
Although I try to be
That kind of man-
To look upon danger,
To move on, again.
Its out of place,
Not so super manly.
Upon her smile,
In love I stumble,
In her eyes
To be a Superman,
My heart tries.
Ali Mehdi (C) All rights reserved.
“These are but a glimpse of his heart and mind; his short stories are worth a whole new article that I will come up with in the near future.
To Ali, writing was an integral ingredient of his survival kit.
Ali held a BA with honors, from Luton University in collaboration with Majan University College in Muscat majoring in Business Administration (Tourism).
Prof. Gargi Chugh, (Senior Quality Expert at OAAA and Honorary President of the Indian International Cambridge School Management Committee) who taught him in Majan college, recalls Ali wistfully:
“I remember Ali as a very gentle, lost in his thoughts kind of a student. He was always good with words and a charmer always!!! I still remember his lovely smile.”
Following this degree, he joined a professional diploma course in Insurance at the College of Banking and Financial Studies but was often interrupted due to illness.
Ali traveled not only in the depths of his soul, but also extensively throughout the World and enjoyed learning from and about other individuals and cultures; this precisely makes him so suitable a poet to be introduced on the WORLD POETRY CANADA Forum as the first voice of Oman, writing poetry in English.
Ali was an amicable, sociable, affable and transparent individual. He loathed hypocrisy and sought fulfillment in open-minded, down-to-earth and truthful exchange of thoughts and feelings.
Sadly, his soul-searching expeditions had to come to an end when he succumbed to his illness, on his hospital bed on June 21st 2008, among family.
Ali Mehdi left a legacy of a young courageous daring individual and an articulate poet and columnist who sought to reach out with an earnest desire to change the World and reintroduce sincerity and truthfulness in our lives and relationships. That was his never ending desire and quest. He touched the lives of many with his openness, sincerity, dedication and noble selflessness. He kept reminding us of his fighting attributes by often saying that he managed to “snatch success out of the jaws of defeat.”
A person is his thoughts and words. Ali Mehdi is always among us with his thoughts and words questioning, seeking, consoling, sharing deep concerns, deeper uncertainties and deepest fears that bind all humanity.
A poet lives on, forever.
His thoughts and words are universal and at once deeply personal, and this in itself make his poetry so connectable to every soul, every reader.”
By AMITA SANGHVI
(M.A., M. PHIL, B.ED FROM MUMBAI UNIVERSITY, INDIA, AND M.A. (TESOL) FROM UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER, UK)
POET AND FACULTY AT SULTAN QABOOS UNIVERSITY, MUSCAT, OMAN
Ariadne’s Notes: On April 4, 1-2 PM PST, the World Poetry Café, 100.5 FM, CFRO had a great show with featured guest and WP Radio host, Diego Bastianutti. Diego had just come back from spending two weeks in Cuba and was able to share with us a fascinating glimpse of life in Cuba. The radio show was in Spanish, English and Italian with poems by Diego also in Spanish, Italian and English.
When I was working with Survivors of Torture, I arranged for a young man from Central America to get the medical treatment he needed in Cuba for free. We only had to raise the airfare. The treatment made a big difference in his life.
Here are some of the highlights about life in Cuba: from the show:
*Diego says that there are two Cuba’s , one wealthy by the tourist trade and one for the Cuban people.
*Due to the US Blockade, there is a rationing of food staples. Also due to the blockade , other countries are not allowed to trade with Cuba. Each person has a rationing card for basic foods.
*The markets mostly have Cuban soft drinks and very little else which has causes health problems. This is due to lots of sugar cane which is abundant. One person told Diego that he had not been able to get any butter for three months.
*Education from kindergarten through university is free as is a high standard of comprehensive medical care. Doctors trained in Cuba are in great demand all over the world.
*Everyone has housing and if you buy a home, your mortgage rate is 10 % of your income.
The Literacy rate in Cuba is 100 %. Books are plentiful and cheap. They are from all over the world without restrictions on topics.
*Recognized poets, artists, musicians, even ping pong players are considered to be professionals are paid a monthly stipend to live on.
*While Diego was there, a new constitution was being written with input from all the communities. Every point was discussed and put down for review.
To know more, please listen to the show.
CLICK HERE! *Please wait. for some reason, the link is not working again!
Diego Bastianutti is in the process of editing three books being published which are being published at the same time. Originally from Fiume, Italy, he has crossed many borders separating States as well as “states of being.” Diego is at ease with various languages and cultures. A retired Professor of Spanish and Italian literature, and former Honorary Vice Consul of Italy.
He has received wide recognition here and abroad for his work as a writer, poet and translator. Among his works he counts five volumes of poetry and his awarded book A Major Selection of the Poetry of Giuseppe Ungaretti. Currently he is a Canadian correspondent for an Italian literary magazine in San José, Costa Rica, and a member of various writers’ associations. His writings have become material of study in a graduate course offered at the University of Toronto. A forthcoming book published by the University of Toronto Press will feature an entire chapter on Bastianutti the poet and writer.
Here is a poem in English and Spanish by Diego:
Stop stop in god’s name don’t break the final seal my face already wears the years I’ll never have I don’t want to see I don’t want to know I’ve seen enough to last me a lifetime seal the book under seven locks throw the keys in the deepest sea now turn off the lamp and let me sleep
Tu dulce sonrisa capaz de desvelar la pepita de dolor que se esconde debajo de nuestra risa la bondad de tu mirada que pesca el pez de la vergüenza en nuestro mar de gloria tus finas palabras que pelan en lenta espiral la cáscara de presunción que los hombres vestimos
Ariadne’s Notes: On October , 8 2018, an exciting guest called into the World Poetry Café Radio Show at 1:10 PM PST. Ayn Inserto shared with us her new CD Down A Rabbit Hole available from Summit Records; a musical adventure with songs that took us on a journey into an imaginary world of sounds. Hosts Dr. Diego Bastinutti , Ariadne Sawyer , super tech Victor Schwartzman, special volunteer Sharon Rowe and regular correspondent Jeanne Probst completed the World Poetry Team. We would like to thank Braitwaite and Katz for sending this great composer and musician.
Ayn Inserto is a groundbreaking composer who is emerging as one of the preeminent voices of her generation. She received her Masters of Music degree in Jazz Composition from the New England Conservatory in May 2001. She is a winner of the 2007 IAJE/ASCAP Emerging Composer Commission honoring Frank Foster, the 2003/04 and 2005/06 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers’ Awards and has received various honors which include the Concord Pavilion Associates Marian McPartland Award, the Pacific Coast Jazz Festival Most Outstanding small jazz ensemble, and the 1999 Best Original Composition award at the Billy Higgins Jazz Festival. She was picked by Bob Brookmeyer to study jazz composition as his protégé. Listen to her work at http://ayninserto.com/