Rihab Kanaan, a Palestinian poetess was born in Beirut 1959. The Intifadah and the Zionist occupations’ brutal manner to curbing it were the theme of her poems.
She was called after the old Arab poetess Al-Khansaa who had spent her life lamenting her brother who had been killed .
During the massacre at the Lebanon Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in 1982, Rihab lost 54 of her family members and relatives. It happened that Rihab’s baby daughter, Maimanah, escaped the massacre, and was raised up by her neighbors.
Maimanah grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp. Poetess Rihab didn’t know that Maimanah was one of the few survivors of the massacre, also no one knew that the mother survived too. Rihab moved to Tunis and got married there where she lived for 15 years, as the Lebanese authorities did allow her to visit Lebanon.
With the start of the second Intifadah Rabab (Al-Khansaa) started to show up on the Palestinian T.V. station to recite her patriotic poems, and it happened that one of her Sabra and Shatila neighbors saw her reciting her poems, and recognized her from the name.
The Abu Dhabi T.V. station knew of the story and arranged for their meeting on air alive without the knowledge of the mother.