Riyadh Newspaper | Mervat Ghazzawi: Reading…a life between the pages

A visit to a library

Mervat Ghazzawi: Reading…a life between the pages

Colleague Bakr Hazal during his meeting with the poet Mervat Ghazzawi

Libraries and their owners have stories and situations, as well as anecdotes and sorrows that deserve to be told. “Riyadh” visits the libraries of a group of intellectuals, evokes the memory of the beginnings, and follows the passion for collecting the most valuable possessions, and the stages of building libraries.. In this written dialogue, we host the Saudi poet and writer Mervat Farouk Ghazzawi, who holds the Bachelor of Arts, Department of History, about her library, which she described by saying: “The bustle of my mind in a quiet corner is the place of my large small home library, so I call it a group of thinkers and writers with immortal pens, pages full of thought, literature and arts… My library is my private world, and the refuge that I rest in. Between his banks whenever I feel my need for companionship.

A company that forces time to bow to it at all times, and voluntarily surrenders its hours to it.. The book is a faithful companion, always present, ready to respond to the call whenever the soul asks for a journey in the world of knowledge.

I donated part of my library to Imam Muhammad bin Saud University

  • At what age did you know the book?

  • I got acquainted with books from the age of ten years. My father – may God have mercy on him – was a reader and had a diverse library of books on religion, literature and culture in all its fields. “I am leaving” by the writer Youssef Al-Sibai, and it was the first book I read in its entirety.

  • Can you identify some of the beginnings of establishing your home library?

I found myself in letters that simulate feelings

  • I loved books and started creating my own library. At the end of high school, I acquired poetry collections where I loved poetry in all its schools, as well as novels, books on history, psychology and philosophy. My library gradually diversified into many books of the most important writers and poets of the modern era.

  • What are the most prominent turning points that accompanied the growth of your personal library?

  • I remember at the time that books were not available here, so if I traveled to Cairo I would return with books from the Egyptian Lebanese Book House, and of course an inevitable visit to the Azbakeya wall, where large groups of books were displayed there, and this was my real pleasure, and my dear treasure.

  • Tell us about the first books that entered your library?

  • Among the first books were a group of novels: Ihsan Abdel Quddus, Naguib Mahfouz, Youssef Idris, Youssef Al Sibai, and a large group of books by the Egyptian writer Anis Mansour, Gibran Khalil Gibran and Ghada Al Samman, and among the poets: Ahmed Shawqi, Al Baroudi, Salah Abdel Sabour, Ahmed Rami, Ibrahim Hafez, And the full collection of Nizar Qabbani, Al-Baradouni, Al-Sayyab, Amal Dunqul, and many others.

  • Do you have any old or semi-old newspapers and magazines?

  • I used to keep newspapers and magazines, but with moving from one house to another, I unfortunately lost them. My library grew richer and joined it with time. He wrote the collections of “The Deprived” of His Highness Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and the Green Collection by Taher Zamakhshari, collections and novels of Al-Gosaibi and Abdo Khal, Hamad Al-Turki, and many others. I donated part of my library to the library of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University.

  • Do you have books in your library with autographs of their authors?

  • I proudly have a collection of valuable books signed by writers and poets from all over the Arab world whom I met on various cultural occasions.

  • What about book fairs, and their role in enriching your library?

  • My visits to book fairs that are held inside and outside the Kingdom have benefited from them in enriching my knowledge of different trends of thought through meeting with literary figures, also by acquiring more diverse books, and thanks be to God the intellectual renaissance under the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and accompanying the vision of His Highness, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman – may they preserve them God – which gave us the opportunity, through the Ministry of Culture, to be present at the international book fairs held in the Kingdom, and to meet with the largest number of thinkers and writers from around the world. The Ministry thankfully provided us with moral support, and we also do not forget the Ministry of Information and its active role in introducing us, and the distinguished audio-visual media coverage.

  • What are the funniest titles in your library?

  • One of the funniest books I have acquired is “The Naughty Boy” by the satirist Mahmoud Al-Saadani, and the book “Empty Words” by Ahmed Ragab.

  • Since you are interested in books and have a private library.. What are the most prominent books that you are keen to read?

  • The passion for reading still accompanies me, I read everything my hand can reach, and it stimulates my thoughts, even though the love of poetry is the controlling my taste at all times and in all its schools.

  • Did your library help you write?

  • I found myself in letters that simulate human feelings and sentiments, love in its great sense that makes the human soul a base for a space of excellence, and a world of transparency that is rooted in values ​​and principles rooted in our roots, which constitute the true human being.

My nature in writing tends to easy vocabulary, which any individual, and every age group can understand its meanings simply.

  • Is the novelty of the book, or the novelty of its subject, one of the criteria for its selection?

  • Novelty is not the criterion, of course, but the intellectual value and the information that opens the horizon of thinking and stirs the pulse of feeling is the main motive for purchasing the book. Example but not limited to mention d. Ghazi Al-Gosaibi – may God have mercy on him -.

  • Are there books in your reading that still stick in your mind, and what style of writer do you like?

  • The collection of the Egyptian poet Farouk Gweideh is one of the books that I keep longing to return to, with its easy style, and his abundantly flowing feelings on the pages.

  • What do you prefer.. paper or digital library? And what’s the reason?

  • I am from that time who enjoys owning the paper book, the texture of the paper makes you feel the warmth of the letters, and between the pages you leave your fingerprints to say: We will always be here.

  • Is your library specialized or diverse?

  • I also mentioned a variety of my library between books of religion, antiquity, poetry, social books, ancient and modern novels. You will find the Diwan of Ibn Zaydun and Al-Mutanabbi and another book of prose poetry, tales of Kalila and Dimna, international translated novels, and other collections of scientific and social articles.

  • How many books have you written so far, and when was your first book published? what is it?

  • May God help me to compile and issue my first book: “My defeat is in you is a victory” five years ago, after which my publications continued: On the Wing of a Heart, the Book of Thoughts, What the Wizard Said, When the Days Tell, Until, and my next book soon, “Alif Alif” is in print, and its collection Collections of free poetry, and I have six participations in several books by a group of writers and writers of the Arab world, among which I mention: The Pulse of Al-Ashjan, the stories of a “collection of short stories”, the squeak of the feather, thesaurus, pen and brush.

  • Do you buy the book through recommendations, or by personal selection?

  • I select books according to their topics, interests and tastes, reading made us and was the true revelation of the ink of our pens that we wrote with.

  • What do you think of reading?

  • Reading.. is a life we ​​live between the pages as a renewed age for our minds.

  • What is your message to everyone who owns a private library?

  • From my position today, I appeal to everyone who owns a library of his own to hold on to it in spite of all circumstances, as it is the irreplaceable treasure, which you will always need to return to in order to succumb.

  • last word:

  • I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself, and I hope that I have left you with a good impression that expresses me in a correct manner. I reiterate my thanks and gratitude to “Al-Riyadh” newspaper and the supervisor of the “Visit to the Library” page, the honorable brother poet Bakr Hazal, who gave me the opportunity to introduce myself.

The guest library contains rare books

Azbakeya wall

Constant presence of the guest in the library

One of the books dedicated to the guest