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New Book: Hot off the press!
Desert Haiku
Desert Haiku takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting sands, seas, and skies of the United Arab Emirates. Through vibrant poetic storytelling, Abimbola Gbemi Alao awakens each reader to the inherent magic of the UAE desert beyond the sand dunes and Dubai skyscrapers. Above all, this riveting collection of haiku is a symphony of vivid imagery, from medicinal ghaf trees and fragrant Arabian jasmine to historical dhow yards, luscious desert foliage and iridescent marinas.
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Abimbola Alao’s ‘Desert Haiku’ gives us images of the UAE unlike any we’ve ever read, seen, or imagined. From the beach to the sky, the desert to the city, these poems deliver a thoughtful panegyric on the Emirates as a place of modern and natural wonder.
Professor Anthony Caleshu
Poet and Associate Head of School – Research, Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise, University of Plymouth, UK

Abimbola’s skilful interpretation of this poetic form is awe-inspiring. In one breath, the reader is transported from one Arabian adventure to another. The rhythm of the haiku represents a modern experience of this land of contrasts. With musicality and other literary devices, Abimbola’s verses represent nature and culture, borne on the wings of the haiku.
Dr. Susan Waller
Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine and Health Sciences
United Arab Emirates University, UAE

Abimbola Alao carries us through an environment that some of us don’t often explore. However, in reality, is this closer to us to venture into than we think? Abimbola connects us across our continents and our own narrative. She sees what the camera can’t tell us, what appears and shimmers in our peripheral light, an alteration of texture, substance and form. She describes the richness of the UAE playfully with profundity. Each haiku can be savoured individually, or you can read all and flow with the land as one.
Dr. Daranee Boon 
Clinical Lead in Medical Humanities, Peninsula Medical School
Plymouth University, UK


Abimbola’s words, so intricately arranged, invite you to come on a pleasant journey to the UAE. You will enjoy the landscape, the foggy night beyond the lone star and a meeting with a flamboyance of flamingos, before revisiting the mountains once more. The author’s artfully arranged collection of haiku summons her readers to explore their own journey of discovery, belonging and identity. The reader will keep coming back to the poems time and time again.
Emily O’Dowd 
English Teacher, The Broxbourne School, Hertfordshire, UK

Abimbola’s beautifully illustrated haiku collection is a masterpiece! The allusion to historical, cultural and other monumental artifacts makes the collection informative because it enables readers to take a peek into the land’s topography. This work is also preservatory because it provides a lens through which the future generation can see some of the UAE’s natural history, juxtaposed with the modern beauty of the country. This book would be a valuable resource for schools. 
Opeyemi Oladiji 
English Teacher, Wesgreen International School, Sharjah UAE


Alao takes you by the hand into the desert and culture of the seven emirates. Her medium is haiku, and like Basho in The Narrow Road to the Deep North, she has created a ‘travel guide’ that allows you to feel both the beauty and harshness of the world, as she writes… 
“salam alaikum
I greet the wind that’s pelting
my face with pebbles” 

Come on this pleasant journey with her; she is waiting for you there. 
Gary Glazner, founder and Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, Illinois, USA 

Desert Haiku enables us to explore various aspects of the UAE, such as: the beauty and the bling, the sometimes harsh weather and the harmony of the dunes.
It can be read as a collection of snap-shots, which can be shuffled and enjoyed in any order, or as a narrative that takes the reader on a tour around the Emirates, the traditions, and natural landscapes. Delightfully, one can sip from two or three haikus at a time, or read through for a complete picture – a
nd then read again. It is a collection to savour.
Geraldine Kershaw
Lecturer, Medical Communication and Study Skills, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, UAE


About Abimbola Gbemi Alao

Abimbola is is a literary scholar and writer.  She is the  author of 6 books and translator of 8 children's books. She is a university lecturer and performance storyteller, and has taught creative writing and storytelling at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in the UK, for 20 years.


For the past 10 years, her research has focused on the efficacy of psychosocial intervention in dementia care. Her current research focuses on the prevalence of Frontotemporal Dementia in BME communities in the UK, and how to raise awareness of FTD for early diagnosis.. She is a visiting lecturer in Medical Humanities at the Peninsular Medical School, University of Plymouth, UK. 


Abimbola is a holistic coach, and works with people on how they can regain vitality, have great mental health and inner strength
for self-healing, based on natural therapies.

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