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Fathieh Saudi obituary


My Jordanian friend Fathieh Saudi, who has died aged 76, was a doctor, writer and poet. She studied medicine in France and worked as a paediatrician in Lebanon from 1976 to 1982, producing L’Oubli Rebelle (1985), about her experiences in the Lebanese civil war, in French. She then translated the book into Arabic as Ayam al Jamr (Days of Amber) in 1990.

On moving from Jordan to London in 2001, Fathieh started writing poetry in English. In 2007, she published The Prophets: A Poetic Journey from Childhood to Prophecy, retelling the stories of religious figures as dramatic monologues. Two years later, she published River Daughter, a short collection that describes the central place of the Thames in her life. Two longer versions of the previous collections were published in 2012 – Prophetic Children, and Daughter of the Thames. In them, one can sense the deep suffering the poet experienced from polio, cancer and the disappointments of the heart.

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