The Ministry of Culture’s Qatar Center for Poetry (Diwan Al-Arab) announced the beginning of the 3rd University Poet competition, one of the center’s initiatives to promote poetry and support literary talents in Qatari society.

Submissions are accepted January 16-28 through the center’s Twitter’s account. Shabib bin Arar Al-Nuaymi, Director of Diwan Al-Arab, reported that the competition is coming back after a hiatus caused by COVID-19 as life goes back to normal. He described the competition as an effort by the Ministry of Culture to support poets, particularly young talents, and to create an environment that is conducive to creativity and art.

“We look forward to seeing the competition achieving its objectives in supporting young talented poets. The two previous competitions were quite successful, as can be seen from the previous winners whose careers as poets started with the competition and continued to become successful poets,” he added.

Al-Nuaymi noted that the competition mainly targets Qatari and resident students from civilian and military colleges and universities. The competition has two categories: one for Standard Arabic poetry and one for Colloquial Arabic poetry. The competition takes about two months, starting with electronic submissions, reviews of submissions, interviews of candidates by the competition committee, and finally the election of winners. Three winners are selected in each category.

He noted that the winners receive monetary and in-kind awards. For each category, the first-place winner receives 50,000 Riyals and a golden trophy. The second-place winner receives 25,000 Royals, and the third-place winner 15,000 Riyals. The winners also receive the award title and the Diwan Al-Arab emblem in gold or silver.

Al-Nuaymi described Qatar University as the main partner in organizing the competition by offering venues for meetings with the participants and other forms of logistical support. He concluded by emphasizing that the ultimate goal of Diwan Al-Arab behind the competition is to launch the career of an international star poet, a university student in Qatar who unleashes poetic potential and energy.