Yesterday marked the beginning of the third stage of the College Poet competition, which is organized by the Ministry of Culture’s Center for Arabic Poetry (Diwan Al-Arab) in collaboration with Qatar University. The competition, which is open to college students from Qatari civilian and military colleges and universities, is scheduled to continue through March on Qatar University’s campus. On Monday, the third stage of the competition will come to a close with 12 contestants qualifying for the fourth stage. The results will be announced on the websites of the Ministry and Diwan Al-Arab. The fourth stage, which will start on February 21, will end with six contestants competing in the final stage which will start on March 1st. The finalists will include three contestants in the Nabati (Colloquial Arabic) poetry category and three in the Faseeh (Standard Arabic) poetry. During the final stage, the contestants will compete for their ranking.
Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Sada, member of the judging committee, commended the College Poet contestants for their efforts and wished them success. “This competition will provide the poetry scene with new exceptional talents. There is, of course, always room to improve, and the competition is intended to be a learning experience for all the participants,” he commented.
Zayed bin Krouz, member of the judging committee, is coaching the contestants and giving them advice. For example, he advised them to have the mindset that they would one day become star poets, but they still have to work hard on researching the topics put forward by the panel. He also advised them to dedicate all their energies to produce the best poetry they can, and to have clear objectives that they strive to achieve.
Mubarak Al Khalifa, another member of the judging committee, lauded the organizing committee’s decision to include both Nabati and Faseeh poetry in the competition. He stressed that there is significant improvement in the quality of poetry produced by the contestants. He commented that the contestants are receptive to the panel’s suggestions, which he believes to be important in their development as future poets.
Kahdan Al-Kubaysi, a judging committee member, was of the view that the College Poet competition is different from other poetry competitions because it aims to discover new young talents. He expects the competition to introduce exceptionally talented young poets to the Qatari poetry scene in the near future.
Ali Al-Masoudi, another judging committee member, emphasized that poetry is an important part of Qatar history and culture. This is why he continuously provides the contestants with feedback and encourages them to be perfectionists in their writing and remain committed to their work. He commented that poets are endowed with powerful imagination that allows them to come up with new ideas.
The College Poet competition has two categories: Nabati and Faseeh poetry. It is open to Qatari and resident students in civilian and military colleges and universities. The prizes in both categories total QR 180,000, distributed as follows: QR 50,000 for the first-place winner, QR 25,000 for the second-place winner, and QR 15,000 for the third-place winner in each category. The competition aims to enrich the poetry movement in Qatar, particularly among students in civilian and military colleges and universities. It is an effort by Diwan Al-Arab to support aspiring young talents and to create an environment that is conducive to literary productivity and innovation.