Qatar Poetry Center (Diwan Al Arab), of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, finally launches a new edition of “Nazra” competition; in addition to the contest “University Poet”. The new edition of the competition is different from the previous two and the two competitions are integrated with the event “Diwan Al Adam”. To discuss these competitions; and what is unique about each of the competitions; Al Sharq met with poet, Shabib bin Arar Al Nuaimi, the Director of “Diwan Al Arab” Center, who confirmed that the next edition of “University Poet” will be different from the previous editions.
In his statement, Al Nuaimi emphasized that the qualification of a range of poets to the “50 poets” phase in “Diwan Al Adam” Competition is a product of the “University Poet” Competition. Hence the importance of the outcomes the poetic landscape is starting to reap from such competitions where poets address topics of moral value and intellectual dimensions. This reflects positively on the poetic landscape in the state.
“Diwan Al Arab” Director then turns to “Nazra” Competition and the role it plays in the international dissemination of the noble values of local poetry; particularly with the orientation of the current edition of the competition in Urdu. Not to mention the local, Arab and global orientation of the competition; reflecting the openness of Qatari poetry to the global level. Al Nuaimi touched upon different aspects related to the poetic landscape; as follows:
This edition comes in the frame of the objective of “Nazra” competition to be a monthly, local, Arab, and International competition. Hence, the March competition is held in Urdu language, in cooperation with the Pakistani Embassy in Qatar. Poets wishing to participate in the competition, either residents of Qatar or Pakistan, could apply via the Center’s account on “Instagram”, depending on the designated theme.
In this frame, an illustrating “video” was posted on the social media platforms of “Diwan Al Arab” Center; of how to participate in the competition; following on the heels of the fourth edition of the competition, which addressed French poets, either residents of Doha or France; under the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture.
General conditions were set for participation in the competition, which is announced monthly. A jury is formed in cooperation with the embassies accredited to Qatar; depending on the foreign language the competition is conducted in, as it varies from month to month. The winner of the competition is announced before the end of each month.
Winners of each edition of the competition will be invited to Doha, to be honored in the World Poetry Day to be held on March, 21. Qatar celebrates this occasion every year in conjunction with the global observance of this international poetic event.
A solemn and a grand ceremony commensurate with this global event will be held. Qatar is determined to commemorate this occasion every year, in tribute of the role and significance of poetry to the society, and the support and care accorded to poets.
Therefore, this year’s celebrations of the World Poetry Day will be one of a kind, as the winners of all rounds of “Nazra” competition will be invited to be awarded during the ceremony. The ceremony will feature other segments to be announced in due course.
In so doing, we made sure to maintain openness, communication and convergence with different cultures; spread the noble values of the Qatari society; particularly on the global level, promote human values in general, and seek to achieve other objectives through sharing creative expertise in poetry, and mingling Qatari creative poetic works with other international works. This will reflect positively on local poetry; especially with the high-profile poetic production of the poets of Qatar, thanks to the support, care and prestige they enjoy in the society because poets are the conscience of the society and poetry is essentially a translation of the happenings in the local community.
The remarkable interaction reflects the level of participation in and the global visibility of the competition, considering the fact that the competition is conducted in a different foreign language every month. This highlights the success of the competition on the one hand, and the accomplishment of its goals on the other hand. The openness of Qatari poetry to different cultures of the world, also opens up new global prospects to Qatari poets.
Receipt of participations is finally open for the 2020 “University Poet” competition; organized by Qatar Poetry Center “Diwan Al Arab” with collaboration from Qatar University. This phase will last until March, 15. Participations may be received via the Center’s “Instagram” account, or by using the barcode found on the Center’s digital lpatforms. The competition is targeted at the students of universities and civil and military faculties in Qatar. It is held for the third consecutive year; promoting the significance of the competition and its success that keeps growing year after year.
As the phase of receipt of participations for the “University Poet” competition begins, we have seen the fruits of what we have sown in the last two editions of the competition; reflected in the high level of poets’ participations in “Diwan Al-Adam” competition. Some of the shortlisted poets in “Diwan Al-Adam” were previous participants in “University Poet”. This, in itself, is a realization of the goals for which the competition was incepted, on top of which is to yield poets of such high caliber, of whom some have advanced to the recently announced “50 poets” level at “Diwan Al Adam” competition.
A new mechanism was adopted with regard to application for the forthcoming edition of the completion, as applicants could now sign up via the Center’s “Instagram” account. Above all, this year’s competition is particularly distinguished for the value-carrying topics to be presented by poets; with all the deep intellectual dimensions involved; driven by the values of the community and the vision of the Ministry of Culture and Sports (Towards a conscious society with an Authentic Conscience and a Healthy Body), with the participation of the students of universities and civil and military faculties in Qatar.
Poets participating in this competition will compete with poems of the abovementioned subjects. These poems will subsequently be referred to critics, poets and academics, to review and analyze them, elaborate their various dimensions, and assess their aesthetic and artistic qualities and the meanings and values highlighted by the poems.
Several poetic projects and great scenarios are planned by the Center to enrich the poetic landscape in the state, driven by the realization of the Ministry’s vision, designed in a way to support moral and societal values, which we are committed to achieve through all the events held by Qatar Poetry Center.
One of the objectives sought by “Diwan Al Arab” Center is to support poets and publish their books of poems; which is nothing new for the Center. “University Poet” book of powers was released, plus two books of poems for poets Hamdan Al Marri and Hamad bin Mohsen Al Nuaimi. Book signing was held for the two books at the Thirtieth Doha International Book Fair, to add to the books of poems previously published by the Center over the past period. This would enhance the enrichment of the literary landscape in the state and, at the same time, support the publication of outstanding poems. Thus confirming that “Diwan Al Arab” is now a significant platform for poets, to keep up with their poetic production.