Arabian Peninsula

660 - 704

Layla Al Akhyaliya

*Photo Source: Science & Avenir, February 2009, P 80.

A prominent seventh century poetess recognized for her strength, eloquence, and beauty, she composed over fifty poems, and recited her poetry at the palaces of the Umayyad Dynasty in Damascus. Engaging in philosophical disputations with renown scholars of her time, she became famous for her blatant disagreements through satire with Al-Nabigha Al-Judi and Humayda bint Nu’man ibn Bashir, who were also renowned poets at the time. She was mostly acknowledged for publicly expressing her admiration of men even while being married. Although her work was diverse, most of her poetry was inspired by her love for Tawba Al-Humayyir, whose suit for her hand in marriage was refused by her father. She died in Samawa, Iraq while traveling.