Sharjah: His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, witnessed, on Monday, at the Cultural Palace, the launch of the activities of the 20th edition of the Sharjah Arabic Poetry Festival, organised by the Department of Culture, with the participation of more than 70 male and female poets, critics, and media figures representing several Arab countries. Its activities will continue for 7 days until January 14.
At the beginning of the ceremony, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah watched a recorded material that dealt with the lives of the poets honoured at the festival, highlighting their most prominent achievements, their most important poetic works, and their tireless efforts in the world of Arabic poetry, which contributed to them being crowned with the Sharjah Award for Arabic Poetry.
The poets also praised during the recorded material the role of Sharjah and its Ruler in supporting poetry in the Arab world through poetry houses, poetry festivals, and celebrating and honouring poets.
The Ruler of Sharjah then honoured the two festival figures who won the Sharjah Award for Arabic Poetry for the year 2024 in its 12th edition, namely Ali Al Shaali from the United Arab Emirates and Arif Al Saadi from the Republic of Iraq.
His Highness also honoured the winners of the Sharjah Award for Arabic Poetry Criticism in its third edition. The Tunisian critic Al-Moncef Al-Wahaibi won the first place, while Moroccan critic Anouar Benyaish won the second place, and Moroccan critic Al Hussein Benbada won the third place.
During the event, His Highness listened to poetry readings delivered by the poet Ali Al Shaali from the UAE, and the poet Arif Al Saadi from the Republic of Iraq.
The twentieth edition of the Sharjah Arabic Poetry Festival will be held over 7 days with the participation of 70 poets, critics and media figures representing various Arab countries. The festival offers a group of diverse and distinguished events, as it witnesses several poetry evenings and sessions.
The current edition will also present the signing of new poetry collections published by the Department of Culture in Sharjah, and the organisation of an intellectual event discussed by 7 Arab critics on the development of language of Arabic poetry. The festival will move to the city of Khorfakkan on its seventh day as part of a poetry evening at the Khorfakkan Literary Council.
The Sharjah Arabic Poetry Festival contributes to preserving the basic foundations of poetry and nurturing the poetic heritage, which contributes to enriching the poetic arena with specialised poetic literary production by embracing poets and poetry lovers and organising a forum for poetry evenings with the participation of poets and critics from the Arab world who illuminate the Emirates’ nights with poetry and enrich the intellectual programme of the festival.
The opening ceremony witnessed the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Chairman of Department of Statistics and Community Development, Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Sharjah Consultative Council, Rashid Ahmed bin Al Shaikh, Chairman of Ruler’s Court, Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, Abdullah Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of Department of Culture, Dr. Mansour bin Mohammed bin Nassar, Chairman of Sharjah Government Legal Department, Khalid bin Jasem Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Tourism and Commerce Development Authority, Ali Ahmed Bu Ghazin, Chairman of Sharjah Fish Resources Authority, Mohammed Obaid Al Zaabi, Chairman of Protocol Department, and a number of senior officials and members of Sharjah Consultative Council, in addition to a group of writers, intellectuals, poets and poetry lovers.