The second round of the “Poet of Universities” competition, held by the Ministry of Culture- represented by the Qatar Poetry Center, was launched yesterday (Sunday) in cooperation with Qatar University, targeting youth from civil and military colleges. It is scheduled to continue until next March at Qatar University, and the qualifiers for the second stage will be announced on Monday via the social media accounts of the Ministry of Culture and Diwan Al-Arab. The third stage is scheduled to start on the 13th of the present month.


The “Poet of Universities” competition covers both categories of Nabati (vernacular) and classical poetry. It is open to students of civil and military universities and colleges, both citizens and residents. The prize value of the competition is 180,000 QR for both categories, with the first place holder receiving 50,000 QR, the second receiving QAR 25,000 QR while the third place holder receives 15,000 QR; in each category.


The competition is part of a keen effort to enrich Qatar’s poetry movement among students of universities and military and civil colleges, as the Qatar Poetry Center believes in supporting youth talents and creating the right literary atmosphere for poets to enrich the scene with their creativity.

For his part, Mr. Lahadan Sabah Al-Kubaisi, a member of the jury of the “Poet of Universities” competition, said that the second stage of the competition is like a second test for poets and a qualification for the third stage, pointing out that the levels of poets participating are very good and close in creativity in the classical category, so the competition in the next stage will be very tight, especially since all the poets participating are enthusiastic and well prepared. Mr. Al-Kubaisi added that one of the special things observed in this edition of the competition is the participation of non-Arab classical poets from countries such as Nigeria, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and they are very distinguished in this category of poetry, indicating that this competition has identified outstanding talents in poetry among university students. He also stressed that any participant in this competition, regardless of his winning or qualification for the advanced stages, is of course a winner because he participated and enhanced his poetic skills and benefited from literary criticism and from his fellow participants.


Mr. Ali Al-Massoudi, a member of the competition jury, on his part, said that the second stage was characterized by the tightness of competition, especially in the category of classical poetry and witnessed the participation of many non-Arab nationalities and we saw how excellent they were and it was a surprise to the jury to have these distinguished participations, pointing out that this edition witnessed the participation of new names that have not been known before, and it is remarkable to all that the level of discussion they have is outstanding and wonderful. Mr. Al-Massoudi added that the new thing is that these participants do not study literary disciplines, but rather study scientific disciplines such as engineering and other disciplines, which was a surprise to the jury. He, moreover, pointed out that one of the observations he had is that the reciting of Nabati poetry is grand in level because the competing poets seem to be influenced by modern poets in this particular skill.  Finally, Mr. Al-Masudi added that  the number of university students participating in the competition is excellent, with students from all universities and colleges in Qatar, which is a good thing, and the level of discussion with the jury was excellent in analyzing  some poetic mistakes.


It is worth mentioning that the competition is based on community cultural and literary values that work to establish these values in the creative works of poets and their poetic production, and activate their role in the issues of society in general, as the mechanism of the competition depends on the evaluation of the jury of poets on some of the poems to reach the stage of 24 contestants, including the start of a basic poem and improvised verses until reaching the final stage. This mechanism, indeed, was developed to ensure honing the poetic talents and highlighting the outcomes of the competition with the highest percentage of creativity and excellence.