David Hirsch, Advisor for Library Services, poses with the rare book of Jose Rizal's poems at Mohammed Bin Rashid Library in Dubai.
PHOTO BY EXPAT MEDIA
A rare book containing the lost poems of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal is part of the collection at the Dh1 billion Mohammed Bin Rashid Library in Dubai.
David Hirsch, Advisor for Library Services, showed Expat Media the book on display in the massive library’s Treasures of the Library exhibit.
Rizal’s book of poems, titled Poesias del Dr. Rizal (The Poems of Dr. Rizal), is part of Treasures of the Library’s more than 300 rare collectibles, some dating back to the 13th century. The book of Rizal’s poems was printed in Manila in 1929.
Born in Calamba, Laguna in the Philippines in 1861, Rizal grew up in a home that had a sizeable library, something considered rare in the Philippines in that period. It was Rizal’s mother who introduced him to literature.
Rizal reportedly started writing poems as a child, although those poems remained “lost” or undocumented. His earliest published work is a poem in Filipino called Sa Aking Mga Kabata (To My Fellow Children), which contains the popular line “Ang hindi magmahal sa kanyang salita/ mahigit pa sa hayop at malansang isda” (He who does not love his native tongue is worse than a beast and a stinking fish). Rizal’s most popular poem is Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell), which he wrote before his execution by firing squad.
Rizal, who died in 1896, was a popular novelist, essayist and polymath. The national hero of the Philippines trained as an ophthalmologist in Europe, finally setting up a practice in Hong Kong in self-imposed exile.
He was a leading spokesman of the Filipino propaganda movement, advocating reforms of the Spanish colonial administration. He returned to the Philippines in 1892. He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for being part of the Philippine revolution for independence, in what is considered the first anti-colonial movement in Asia, although he was not actively involved. ICA/Expat Media
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