Tag Archive for Middle East


by Gina Luria Walker Enheduanna (c. 2300 B.C.) Sumerian princess, cloistered priestess and popular poet, Enheduanna is the first human author for whom we have attribution, and the first Ancient author to write in the first person.[1]  She was appointed by her father, King Sargon, as the head of the main temple at Ur, one…


  Tumadir bint Amru al-Harith bint al-Sharid (b. 575–d. 646), better known as ‘al-Khansa,’ was one of the major poets of pre-Islamic Arabia. Born into a powerful family in west Central Arabia, near Mecca and Medina, much of al-Khansa’s work was inspired by her two brothers, who died in tribal battles. Women poets of the…

Rabi’ah Al-Adadawiyyah

By Juliet Gentile Rabi’ah Al-Adadawiyyah (Rābiʻa al-ʻAdawiyya al-Qaysiyya or Rābiʿah al-Baṣrī) (d. 801) was as early Islamic saint, hailing from Basra, in today’s Iraq, an area known for its mystic women. She has been called “first among Sufis,” a “second spotless Mary,” and the “Crown of Men.”[1] Her life is seen as the apotheosis of…


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