Voted as”Amazon Best Sellers -Women Authors in Poetry” #92 November 28, 2014 and “Amazon Best Sellers in Middle Eastern Poetry” #4 Amazon Canada March 9, 2015 she is Hadel Ma’ayeh an American writer/poet proud of her Jordanian heritage. She is a woman of many talents from writing to dancing to having a fruitful career in corporations and becoming an entrepreneur owning her business in management consultancy, training and social media.
Arab Woman Mag had the pleasure to learn more about Hadel the poet and the woman.
As a woman of many talents when did you discover your gift for writing poetry?
As a child I enjoyed writing, listening to music, and dancing so this brought out the creative side of me that flourished in grade school and high school.
I credit my high school English teacher, Mr. Richard J. McNally (God Rest His Good Soul) He saw the zeal in me for writing poems and he literally stated, “Hadel, you have a gift, I enjoy reading your poems.”
His encouraging words stirred up a passion inside of me to resume writing poems until this day.
When writing poetry where does your inspiration come from?
The muse comes from two areas in my life, primarily, from my surroundings as well as interaction with my family and friends. I am a sensitive person who takes words and emotions to heart. Whether I or a family member or a close friend experiences joy, pain, humor, anger, loneliness, heartbreak or anguish I write it down in a journal that I use later when writing a poem. Additionally, the state of the world inspires me to write about wars, famine, injustice, and a cry for peace.
I also receive inspiration from the interpretations of great literately poets such as Khalil Gibran, The Prophet; Emily Dickinson, The bustle in a house (Part Four: Time and Eternity); Edgar Allen Poe, The Bells; William Butler Yeats, A Prayer for My Daughter; Robert Frost The Road Not Taken; and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Cry of the Children. These celebrated poets used imagery and emotional effects in the poems that perpetually inspired my poetry style.
Moreover, the poems in print The Simple Life, Unchanging Wind, Deeply, Sorry, and Senses gave me a range of inspirations.
“FROM THE HEART –A Journey of Love” was sincerely written from the heart and the soul. Poetry is the journal of life, when revising some of the older poems; some written as far back as twenty years, the mind-set at that moment in time was to reawaken. The words stirred up old emotions.
Nevertheless, I had a mixture of sentiments; on one hand, I was beaming with excitement to reveal to the world my intimate thoughts. On the other hand, I contemplated if the readers would feel what I was striving to express in descriptive scenes and metaphors. Ultimately, I decided to publish an array of heartfelt poems without a theme, but only using my feelings.
From your poetry collection do you have a poem that stands out and touches your heart personally? Which one and Why?
Yes, the poem Divorce comes to mind and heart.
In the spring of 2014, through a mutual friend, I reconnected with an old friend from my university years. I came to find out that my friend had separated and was in the process of a divorce. My heart instantly felt with my friend and I also felt the misfortune of the children. I took this poignant matter to heart and it stirred up in me the desire to write the poem Divorce. I am certain most married couples going through separation will find this poem resonates with them, because it describes the struggles and pains of a divorce.
What are some challenges that faced you while working on your book and how did you overcome them?
I am not embarrassed to say, the rewrites were the main challenge.
Double checking time and time again, to make sure all the poems had significant meaning and coherency.
Fortunately, having a confidant who is a sister in heart immensely aided in this dilemma by freely editing the book. The direct critiques were genuinely valued (including misgivings and grammar structure that were missed):
“I don’t like this sentence, rewrite it.”
“This does not make sense, what are you trying to say?”
I highly recommend and encourage an outside perspective to review all writings and to benefit from the assessments.
What is something you would like the readers to know about Hadel the woman?
I was raised in a traditional background and I am proud of my Arab-Jordanian heritage that is rich in history. I am also a person of deep faith who values and cherishes family & friends whole heartedly.
I enjoy and cook Mediterranean / Middle Eastern foods that I was brought up with and taught at home.
My other interests consist of dancing, writing mystery novels, cooking, photography and social media.
Although I reveal a great deal of feelings in my poetry, I am a private person who does not like to reveal the details of my personal life or life circumstances.
Furthermore, I am an advocate for human rights, animal rights and a sustainable global environment. I hold all these concerns dear to my heart and prayers.
The poems On the Eve of Condemnation, Prayers for Humanity, The Seven Hills, Am Just Tired, Closed Heart, Don’t Forget, and Hope Faith and Love are expressions of these concerns.
I have the faith that humanity will discover solutions for our current issues and crises by using our hearts and not just the mind.
As a successful Arab woman raised and living in the US how do you see Arab women being perceived by Americans?
I am an optimistic individual who does not focus on insensitive comments and stereotypes that come out of ignorance. I would rather offer solutions and compromises to the issue at hand. Through education of our rich heritage and culture we may able to remove the negative characterization particularly in regards to Arab-American women.
In order to achieve tolerance and eradicate ignorance, it is more important to focus on examples of prominent Arab-American women who have made significant contributions, such as:
Marlo Thomas, Actress and Humanitarian (St. Jude Research Hospital)
Candy Lightner, Founder of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
Paula Abdul, Singer, Dancer and Entertainer
Hoda Kotb, Co-host of the Today Show’s Fourth Hour with Kathie Lee Gifford
Callie Khourie, Oscar Winner Screenwriter and Director
It is important to note Arab-American Women bring fourth vital skills, unique & innovative talents, and fresh perspective to the mainstream society of America.
Arab-Americans as a whole must enlighten the local communities and schools of our significant contributions to society and culture. It is important for people to understand that many of us are exemplary citizens who strive for peace.
What is next for Hadel Ma’ayeh?
As I mentioned previously, I will write and share further poems, Haikus, in addition to, ballots, odes, verses and personal sayings.
I look forward to leaving my comfort zone and continuing to grow as an artist. Recently, I’ve gotten new creative opportunities that have come my way. I am excited to see where those take me.
Any advice or wise words you would like to share with our readers?
Yes, no matter the talents and passions are, have the confidence and the self-determination to keep going in spite of criticisms that come your way. Put opinions that don’t matter in to perspective and be true to yourself and your voice.
Also, if the idea or creation seems absurd or out of this world then usually that is the right path to be on.
Most importantly, shine as an individual and not as a follower; and do not let un-constructive criticism dictate or downgrade the amazing gift within.
Want to connect with Hadel Ma’ayeh and learn more then go to http://about.me/Hadel Links to her personal social media accounts and about book / author.