The third stage of the “Poet of Universities” competition, held by the Ministry of Culture- represented by the Qatar Poetry Center “Diwan Al-Arab” in cooperation with Qatar University and a number of universities, kicks off today. The competition targets the students of civil and military colleges, and is scheduled to continue until next March at Qatar University. It will be held in the categories of Nabati poetry (vernacular) and classical poetry (standard Arabic). The competition is open to students of universities and civil and military colleges; both citizens and residents. The prizes of the competition amount to 180,000 QR for the two categories.
In this context, poet Shabib Bin Arar, Director of the Qatar Poetry Center «Diwan Al-Arab», affirmed that the third stage witnessed the qualification of 24 poets in both categories, pointing out that the level of the competing poets was outstanding in the past stage. He added that the jury of the “Poet of Universities” competition was amazed by the participation of non-Arabic-speaking poets, who presented poems in the classical poetry category that won the admiration of the jury, pointing out that the current stage will witness an improvisation of poetry, where it requires the poets participating in this stage to present a basic poem along with improvising verses according to a draw by the jury, where each poet- after the completion of the main poem- should choose a theme according to the themes available in a box, and is given ten minutes to improvise two verses of poetry on the theme he already chose. Poet Bin Arar, furthermore, explained that at each stage the competition progresses and qualifies poets while the difficulty of these stages increases, in order to select the elite competing poets and poems, and to make sure that the qualified ones are able to continue and overcome the difficulty of all stages, in order to end up with qualified poets of full potential and complete poetic mastery, in addition to skills characterizing brilliant poets such as intuition and improvisation.
The Director of the Qatar Poetry Center also affirmed that the jury is doing its part to the fullest in terms of grading poets and evaluating the poems, as the jury consists of poets with long experience and high mastery standards, which facilitates the process of selecting the elite poets and, thus, reaching an impressive and amazing conclusion and outcomes of the competition in both poetry categories. On on the current edition of the competition, poet Bin Arar explained that it is outstanding in terms of the level of citizen poets who have proven their excellence in choosing the themes of the poems and reciting them. He also praised the level of participants of other nationalities, in addition to the multiple participations by universities and civil and military colleges.
Poet Shabib Bin Arar, moreover, praised the selected poems received by the jury, noting that some of them were written in advance in the initial stage of the competition, and therefore the participant is evaluated as a poet, and after approving the poets selected to participate in the competition the jury chooses the themes of the poems, and poets must abide by them and write poems on them, including value, moral and community themes, all of which are in the context of the strategy of the Ministry of Culture and the value system in place that follows the ministry’s approach.
With regard to the objectives of the “Poet of Universities” competition, poet Shabib Bin Arar indicated that it has many objectives and outcomes, as the winning poets will be ambassadors of ethics and values, and their poems will be published and research will be conducted on them and directed to young people to contribute to the consolidation of their values and principles. A collection of poems by the poets participating in the competition will also be published. Finally, he wished all poets success in the current stage, qualification for the next stages to reach the finals, and winning the title of the “Poet of Universities” competition, which he described as meeting the aspirations of poetry enthusiasts in Qatar and is the focus of poets’ attention.