The organizing committee for the College Poet Competition, which is held by the Ministry of Culture’s Qatari Forum for Authors, announced that six poets have qualified for the final stage. In the Nabati (Colloquial) poetry category, the qualified contestants are: Abdul Rahman Al Nouman (Qatar University), Eissa Nasser Al Khalifa (Qatar University), and Abdul Muhsin Ali Al-Hamimi (Qatar University). In the Faseeh (Standard Arabic) poetry category, the qualified contestants are: Tahir Mukhtar Hassan (Doha Institute for Graduate Studies), Abdullah Ahmed Al-Hussein (College of the North Atlantic – Qatar), and Abdul Wadud Aida (Qatar University). These contestants qualified through the fourth stage of the competition out of a pool of 12 aspiring poets in the two categories combined. The competition, which is organized in collaboration with Qatar University and other Qatari civilian and military colleges and universities, is scheduled to continue through next March. All competition events are hosted by Qatar University.
The next stage of the competition will start in March, and it will end with the selection and ordering of the winners. The names of the winners will be announced at a special event. The final stage is expected to involve the composition of original poems in addition to impromptu original poetry before the judging panel.
Abdul Muhsin Ali Al-Hamimi commented that he was one of the contestants who qualified through the fourth stage, which was held two days ago. The topic of his poem, as required by the panel, was Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab. He added that he was ready for the challenge with a powerful poem that allowed him to advance into the final stage.
Eissa Al Khalifa offered that qualifying for the final stage of the College Poet competition means a lot to him. He sees it as a serious challenge, given the strong competition he met in the previous stages. However, he sees all contestants as winner because of the experiences they have gained.
In same context, Tahir Mukhtar described qualifying for the final stage as a major achievement because he is not a native speaker of Arabic. He explained how his advanced Arabic studies helped him write Arabic poetry and how he discovered his talent for poetry while studying at the university. He studied and memorized many poems by major Arab poets such as Al-Mutanabbi and Ahmed Shawqi by heart.
Contestant Abdullah Al-Hussein noted that he participated in the previous edition of the College Poet competition and came in third place. He is hoping to win the first place this year. He explained how Fasseh poetry requires mastery of Classical Arabic and how he learned the classic Hanging Poems by heart before starting to write his own poetry.