Sara Abuljadayel is a Saudi poet who recently did a book-signing event at the Sharjah Book Fair, the world’s third largest book fair, where she met some of her readers. Her poetry and prose collection, Just Wondering About It All, contains earnest writing that offers a comforting and uplifting perspective on life.
When writing her first collection Abuljadayel knew she’d have to find a balance between her full-time job and creative writing, “I would go to the office early so I could get time to write. On less hectic days, I’d take a coffee break to write down some lines.” The trick that worked for her was to find a few minutes a day when she could clear her head and write without interruptions. Being in a corporate environment doesn’t seem very inspiring for a poet, she explains, “Everything inspires me, whether it’s positive or negative. I believe you need to have an open mind to look around you and find what makes the world spin.”
Writing in English, the language of her education, allows her to reach a wider and more international audience. Abuljadayel’s writing process usually begins with a word or situation that keeps coming back to her, “I like writing about life instances and situations, and how they affect people, how people can learn from them to carry on in life.” While that might give you the impression of a self-help book, her poetry is actually an expressive exploration of life. For instance, the poem “The Strange Void” ends with an encouraging declaration, “However long it takes, everything has an end. Your part in it is to choose how you will end it.” Another poem, “The World’s New Symphony”, puts across an inspiring message, “The world’s new symphony is a reminder to have a heart, to share compassion, to make a difference.”
When it comes to reading and writing poetry, Abuljadayel talks about a shift in perspective, “I have to put myself in the reader’s shoes and see how they might relate to my poems.” Speaking to her Saudi and international readers has revealed a common response, “They relate to the journey you take from one phase of life to the next. They are also able to see themselves in some of the situations I write about.”
Getting published is, of course, not a simple matter; Abuljadayel was used to writing for her family and close friends, but knowing that a larger audience would read her work concerned her, “My friends and family would give me direct feedback. When people around the world read my work, I’m not sure what they think or if their response is similar to my closer circle’s.”
We couldn’t help but about her current read, “I’m reading Emirati writer Aysha Al Jahani’s book on parenting, The First Years Last Forever.”
Sara Abuljadayel also enjoys the works of novelist Paulo Coelho, photographer Paul Reiffer, and artist Christian Lassen.
Just Wondering About It All is available on most ebook platforms. A hard copy can be bought from Jamalon for SR 60.
“To love again, to try again, to look forward for our tomorrows.” – Sara Abuljadayel