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Arab poets flock to Abu Dhabi
January 25, 2015
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ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi is set to host 300 poets from 29 countries for direct interviews with members of the Prince of Poets jury at Al Raha Beach Theatre from the 31st of January to the 2nd of February.

The three days of interviews aim to select the best poets to take part in a TV programme of classical Arabic poetry. After achieving significant success in the previous five seasons, the Prince of Poets, in its 6th season, is eagerly awaited by the lovers of eloquent poetry in the Arab world.

The Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee announced that participants in the direct interviews had been nominated from among thousands of poets who applied to take part in the competition.

"After the process of sorting and evaluation, the best poets were selected according to strict standards that were previously announced. During the direct interviews, the members of the jury will choose the poets who will take part in the different live episodes of the TV programme," the Committee said.

During the interview period, poets who are residents of the United Arab Emirates can directly access Al Raha Beach Theatre to be interviewed by the jury members, according to the terms and conditions that have been previously announced.

Sultan Al Amimi, Director of the Poetry Academy at the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee, said, "The members of the jury, who are known for their credibility and extensive experience in poetry reading and analysis as well as literary criticism, will take on the heavy responsibility of evaluating the poets."

"The interviews will bring to light some fine and excellent talents of gifted poets who may not obtain the approval of the jury. Their participation in the direct interviews is an honour in itself as it comes after a strict selection from among thousands of candidates. Before this competition, these exceptional voices, who have come to represent Arab nations from the East and the West, were invisible on the scene of Arabic poetry. The Prince of Poets comes to give them voice and visibility in the whole region and beyond," Amimi added.

The 300 poets who were selected for direct interviews with the jury members come from different Arab and foreign countries, namely the UAE, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Algeria, Sudan, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Mauritania, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Iran, Libya, Mali, India, Senegal, Belgium, Guinea, Niger, Chad, and Kazakhstan.

In June 2013, Egyptian poet Alaa Janib won the title of the Prince of Poets in its 5th season, receiving a Burda (a cloak) symbolising Arab heritage, and a ring denoting a prince. The winner of the 4th season was the Yemeni poet Abdul Aziz Al Zarai. Other winners are Syrian Hassan Baiti (3rd season), Mauritanian Sidi Mohamed Ould Bamba (2nd season), and Emirati Abdul Kareem Maatoug (1st season).


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