‘Babtain’ cultural foundation honors creative poets, critics

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KUWAIT CITY, March 19: Under the aegis of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Abdulaziz Saud Al- Babtain Cultural Foundation launched its 18th edition on Sunday. This edition is devoted to honoring creative poets and critics who have won the foundation’s awards of both 17th and 18th editions, and marking the recent issuance of a poetic lexicon.

Representing His Highness the Amir, Minister of Information and Culture and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi commended the foundation’s role in the promotion of knowledge, creativity and thought. He also spoke highly of the foundation for having enriched the movement of Arabic poetry and criticism, and stimulated communications between poets and those interested in Arabic poetry through its activities and publications.

The foundation has played a great role at local, Arab, regional and international levels in disseminating the message of intellectuals throughout the ages, which is, in fact, a message of goodness and tolerance, the minister pointed out. For his part, Abdulaziz Saud Al- Babtain Cultural Foundation’s Secretary- General Poet Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Babtain voiced appreciation and gratitude to His Highness the Amir for patronizing the event. Recalling the Kuwaiti rulers’ patronage of the foundation’s events and activities, he said His Highness the Amir’s sponsorship of this year’s edition is clear-cut evidence of the Kuwaiti rulers’ appreciation of the value of culture. He added that this year’s gathering mainly aims at honoring winning poets and marking the recent issuance of the poetic lexicon covering the period from 656 BH and 1215 BH.

More than 100 researchers and academics spent more than 10 years on compiling the poetic lexicon in 25 volumes including translations and poetic examples of around 10,000 poets, he said. He boasted that his foundation’s celebration for this year comes just a couple of days ahead of the World Poetry Day, which was designated by the United Nations (UN) in 2008 to fall on March 21st of every year. Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja, a diplomat and poet, who has won the foundation’s Appreciation Award, said he was so happy to win this award for having contributed to the enrichment of the movement of Arabic poetry.

He lauded the foundation as being one of the Arab world’s most significant cultural organizations, which, since its inception, has shouldered responsibility for safeguarding Arabic cultural and civilizational heritage. Representing the winners, Rawdha Al-Haj, a Sudanese poet and media figure, delivered a poem of her volume, which has won the foundation’s best poetic volume award. She highly commended the cultural organization for having worked over 30 years to safeguard and promote Arabic poetry and poets.

Rawdha Al-Haj and Jordanian poet Abdullah Ameen Abu Shemis have won the best volume and poem awards respectively. The foundation’s best poetic volume for young people went to Palestinian poet Alaa Al-Qatrawi, while the best poem prize went to Zaher Habeeb of Yemen. The best poetic criticism book prize went to both Moroccan critic Mustafa Rajwan and critic Dr. Ahmad Darwish of Egypt. Saudi poet Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja has won the foundation’s Appreciation Award for this year’s edition. This year’s edition has attracted widescale Arab participation involving more than 826 participants from the Arab world vying for all branches of the foundation’s awards. (KUNA)

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