Bahraini artist, Abdulrahman Rafee, passed away this month at the age of 79, leaving behind an unsurpassed artistic legacy.
Born in Manama in 1936, Rafee travelled to Egypt for his education in Law and then pursued a career in the Ministry of State for Legal Affairs. He later moved to work in the Ministry of Information as the Superintendent for Cultural Affairs before moving to Bahrain.
Rafee’s combination of vernacular and standard Arabic poetry led to him becoming widely celebrated in the Gulf as well as in the rest of the Arab world. His popularity is clearly reflected by the fact that some of the verses from his poems have become idioms, commonly used throughout the Arab world.
Rafee’s inspirational poetry carefully examined the state of Bahraini society and also the Arab world as a whole and earned him many awards as well as the “Hona Al Bahrain Poetry Contest” award.
He composed nine volumes of vernacular and standard Arabic poetry including: Aghani Al Bahr Al Arba’a (The Four Songs of the Sea), Al Dawran Hawl Al Ba’eed (Circulating the Distance), Laha Dahek Al Ward (She Laughs Like A Flower), Diwan Al Shi’r Al Sha’bi (Collection of Folk Poetry), Diwan Al Shi’r Al Arabi (Collection of Arabic Poetry), Awwaluha Kalam (It Begins With Words).
He was also known for his witty and dark humoured poetry, of which some of the titles include Allah Yejazeek Ya Zaman (May God Punish You Time) and Zaman Al Maskhara (Ridiculous Time).
Before his demise, Abdulrahman Rafee was an active member of society, taking part in various poetry evenings as well as many TV and radio interviews.
His death is a great loss to society, however Abdulrahman Rafee will always be remembered through his hefty contribution of exceptional poetry.
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