Nimah Ismail Nawwab was born in Malaysia to a Makkan father and mother. An English writer, editor and poet as well as photographer, her interests have led her to venture in various fields and work on diverse projects.
Due to her scholarly father’s involvement, Nimah became interested in English literature at an early age. As a high school student she worked on various summer jobs at an oil company. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Nimah worked in Translation Services for five years then moved to Public Relations.
Her interest in writing on Saudi society, customs, Islam, art, crafts, cuisine and calligraphy has led to numerous articles and essays that have been published in Saudi Arabia and abroad. A few years ago she was commissioned to work on a lengthy project to evaluate a museum quality collection of Saudi artifacts, costumes and jewelry. Her work has appeared in publications including the Arab News, The Bahrain Tribune and the academic journal Islamic Studies. Nimah has been coordinating the review of Saudi Aramco World magazine, to which she contributes stories and photographs, for the last ten years.
Through the years she has also given presentations on Arabia, wedding customs, Ramadan and women in Saudi Arabia, Women in Islam, in Washington D.C and most recently in Holland on “The Role of Saudi Women in the Media.”
Devon, England - 2004
Nimah’s interests include photography with an emphasis on portraits, weddings and nature shots in addition to studio photography and developing. She is interested in layout and design of print and websites. In 2001 Nimah headed a task force to develop text and graphic content for a company website.
On a personal level, Nimah has long been interested in Saudi artifacts, Middle Eastern folkloric costumes, silver jewelry, Persian rugs, Nomadic weavings, pottery and Saudi stamps.
She loves animals and enjoys listening to a wide range of eclectic music, traveling, cooking and researching international dishes.
She lives with her husband and children Aminah and Ibrahim in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Nimah’s poems on women, freedom, life in Arabia, wars, death and life, the younger generation and universal issues have been published online and in print. A few poems have been translated into Arabic and one poem is part of an English Literature university curriculum.
Writing poetry is another unexpected and exciting venture that began in 2000, after meeting the wonderfully articulate writer, essayist, songwriter and poet Naomi Shihab Nye.
"Studying English Literature and with my fondness for Shakespeare, I never attempted poetry, thinking it beyond me, that it is the forte of the masters such as Shelley, Lord Byron, Keats, Wordsworth and Tennyson. Meeting Naomi with her sense of inner peace, calmness and the way she writes about ordinary people, daily things, even such tiny things as a button or broom, imbuing them with a philosophy of life, made me want to attempt poetry. She is my Inspiration.”
Since then I have been extremely fortunate with supportive family and friends who have read my poems and critiqued them. One of the joys of writing whether prose or poetry is always the readers’ feedback and I always appreciate it.”
Devon, England - 2004
Nimah has been in contact with poets in the United States and Europe and has begun experimenting with style leading to new attempts in free modern verse and haiku.
After a long standing interest in English and Arabic classic poetry, Nimah has become familiar with modern verse and Polish, Chilean, Latino and African American poets’ whose influence has added another dimension to her pieces.
“Venturing into poetry is an exciting and thought-provoking adventure.” said Nimah at a presentation she gave on poetry during a Career Day at Effat College in Jiddah, on the west coast of Arabia. “It is a journey into a dazzling realm of imagery, rhythm, music, style and words, giving us a chance to pause during our everyday lives and to deliberate on the broader issues of humanity.”
One of the other pleasures of poetry has been giving readings at schools and universities. “Meeting students and perking their interest in writing or reading poetry, is a real motivator, makes one feel that connecting with the younger generation and making an impact is the best gift a poet can give back to society.”
Nimah is currently working on compiling a volume of her work in addition to fitting in readings into her schedule.