His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin Hamad Al Thani, Minister of Culture, expressed his wishes of success to the participants in the “Poet of Universities” competition. On this occasion, His Excellency, in a tweet on his Twitter account, said: “I wish the best of luck to all my brothers participating in the # Poet of Universities competition, and I am confident that they are promising talents that will be an addition to the cultural journey in our country.”
Yesterday, the Ministry of Culture announced, through its accounts on social media, that the second stage of the ongoing competition will kick off on February 6. In this regard, Poet Shabib Bin Arar Al-Nuaimi, Director of the Poetry Center (Diwan Al- Arab) said: “First of all, it must be emphasized that the competition in its new edition witnessed a large turnout of students; both citizens and residents of Qatar. We were also amazed by the creative level of the poems competing for advanced stages.” He also explained that the poems participating in the competition were growing in a great deal in terms of literary creativity and poetic talent; whether from Qatar University or from all other universities, which indicates the importance of this competition. He, furthermore, affirmed that young poets show eagerness to participate in the competition; marking the honing of their talents and skills before joining the literary scene in the future. Moreover, Poet Shabib Bin Arar pointed out that the pace of creativity in this competition increased noticeably. He stressed on the fact that very good poems were submitted to the competition jury, and poets who did not qualify for the second stage were also creative. Also, he emphasized that the jury is keen to ensure that the outcomes of the competition are outstanding after all. Regarding the number of qualified contestants in the first stage, poet Ben Arar said: “It is not important for us to have a large number of poets qualified in the first stage, but we are concerned with the quality of their poems. The stage of 24 qualified poets, equally distributed between Nabati and classical poetry, is of interest to me and this is the stage in which the focus will be on quality more than than quantity. At this stage, 12 poets will also qualify , then 6 poets to be qualified in the following stage: 3 poets in Nabati and 3 poets in classical poetry in standard Arabic who will compete to win the first three places.” Finally, he pointed out that the poets participating in this competition are talented and creative.
For his part, poet Saeed Ali Al-Dahabib, who qualified for the second stage in the Nabati poetry category, said : “My journey with poetry started 15 years ago, and during this journey I participated in competitions bigger than the “Poet of Universities” competition, but what attracted me to this contest is that it embraces veteran poets and young talents, which is suitable for exchanging and interacting with their talents to benefit each other. Regarding the poem that qualified him for the next stage, he said: “I participated in the competition with a poem by which I won the first place on the Qatar National Day competition, which was launched by Qatar Radio.” He also expressed his ambition to win the first place in the “Poet of Universities” competition. As for the level of participants, he said: “There are well-known names in our poetry scene, and there are many surprises that the upcoming stages will reveal.”
In addition, poet Adel Al-Mawlawi, who qualified in the classical poetry category and is participating for the first time in this competition, said: “This is the first stage of four stages, and qualification is a success, although in the first stages it is not considered a great success, but it is a step forward.” He pointed out that 16 poets qualified in the classical poetry category and 18 poets in the Nabati poetry category, making the competition very tight because the number is large. On the opportunity of the classical poetry in this competition, Al-Mawlawi said: “Throughout ages, classical poetry has maintained its status and beauty, and these are points of view on which we may agree or disagree, but in general a poet in the Nabati category may outperform a poet of standard Arabic (classical category) and vice versa. What is really important in making the judgment is the meaning and content.”
Among the promotional videos of the competition, which the Ministry of Culture is keen to broadcast through social medial platforms, a video in which the famous poet Jassem Mohammed Bin Hammam presents a message about poetry and poets; saying: “Poetry is very popular in Qatar, the Arab world and the Gulf region in general. Most tribes have a male or female poet from their own sons and daughters. I wish the young poets to highlight all aspects of Nabati poetry. I will give them the advice I’ve received at the beginning of my career, such as reading and memorizing, not tackling certain meters in poetry, and intensifying other ones in the competition. I wish all poets the best of luck.”