Raficq Abdulla is an essayist and poet whose poems based on Rumi and Attar – respectively Words of Paradise and The Conference of the Birds – have been published by Frances Lincoln. He has written and presented programmes on Islam and on Spirituality for BBC World Service. His published essays cover a variety of topics such as issues concerning identity, Islamophobia, the aftermath of the Salman Rushdie affair, the Qur’an, Ruskin and on poetry. Raficq has written screenplays for Channel 4 including the award-winning films Blood of Hussein and Born of Fire.
As a public speaker, Raficq has addressed a wide variety of national and international audiences in the UK, Canada, the USA, Spain, Portugal and Dubai on a number of issues including Islam, Muslims, Shari’ah Law, Art, Identity, Poetry and Spirituality. He has spoken on Rumi and Rilke, and he has narrated his interpretation of parts of a poem by the 15th Century Persian mystic poet, Jami at St. Ethelburgas. In May 2008 he was the narrator at a concert in St. Ethelburgas in memory of the German/Jewish composer Victor Ullmann who was killed at Auschwitz in 1945. He has presented his own poetry including his interpretations of Rumi and Attar at a number poetry international venues, in London and at the Dartington and Ledbury poetry festivals.
Raficq was formerly a member of the board of the Poetry Society, Acting President of English PEN and is a member of the Advisory Committee of the British Centre for Literary Translation.