Makkah governor launches Arabic poetry award

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal at the launch ceremony of the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal International Prize for Arabic Poetry. (SPA)
Updated 12 November 2018
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Makkah governor launches Arabic poetry award

  • The prize is worth SR1 million ($266,560) distributed over three categories, the first of which is the Arabic poetry prize

JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal pointed out Sunday, during the launch ceremony of the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal International Prize for Arabic Poetry, that King Salman’s approval for this prize reflects his keen interest and care for culture and literature.
He said: “We are pleased today to launch this new prize at this young university and academy, and I wish everyone success so that this prize advances to meet the ambitions of King Salman. He has approved for the first time this poetry prize, which we have named after the late Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal.
“Saudi Arabia owes Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal so much when it comes to poetry and culture as he was a great advocate of Arabic poetry with his proper language.”
Prince Khaled emphasized the importance of valuing and cherishing the Arabic language as well as taking pride in it, as it is the language of the Holy Qur’an.
He said: “We must contribute to the dissemination of Arabic because God has granted Makkah a special status as the land of revelation and Islam. We must restore the importance of Arabic alphabets, poems, articles, and books in order to be the ambassadors of this culture, which makes every Saudi proud.”
The governor of Makkah thanked the Academy of Arabic Poetry and the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal International Prize for Arabic Poetry, hoping that the prize would achieve many ambitions.
The prize is worth SR1 million ($266,560) distributed over three categories, the first of which is the Arabic poetry prize. It is worth half a million riyals and is granted to a contemporary Arab poet for all of his rich works of poetry, provided he submits at least three poetry books written and printed in classical Arabic.
Also, the music and rhyme of all submitted poetry books must adhere to the regulated poetic rhythm (vertical and trochee), and the poet should be recommended by a specialized cultural institution or an Arab or international publishing house. Members of the jury may not apply for the prize while working with the judging panel.
The second category is Arabic theatrical poetry, with a prize of SR300,000. Submitted works must be in the form of poetry and written in classical Arabic with no linguistic or structural mistakes. The poet must be established and have at least one published poetry book or poetic play in classical Arabic, or at least ten published poems.
The submitted work must be recommended by an arts association, a literary club, a specialized cultural institution, or an arts institution such as an institute or center specialized in the theater. The candidate may nominate himself based on the recommendation of one of the aforementioned bodies, and the recommendation must be mentioned in the candidate’s details.
The third category is sung poetry, with a prize of SR200,000. This is awarded to a contemporary poet who submits a song that adds to the arts field. Submitted poems must adhere to the regulated poetic rhythm (vertical and trochee) and be written in correct classical Arabic without compromising its tune.
Also, technical musical standards should be taken into account while writing the sung poem, the poet must have distinctive poetry works of at least one book or ten sung or published poems, and the poem must be recommended by a local or Arab arts association, literary club or specialized cultural institution.
A producer may nominate himself based on the recommendation of one of the aforementioned bodies. Awardees have to attend the awards ceremony with the song’s poet, singer, and composer and perform it on stage. Members of the jury may not apply for the prize while working with the judging panel.
Dr. Hossam bin Abdul Wahab Zaman, director of Taif University and secretary-general of the Academy of Arabic Poetry, said that establishing this academy at the university is a source of pride for it.
“It also reflects Prince Khaled Al-Faisal’s faith in the role of Taif University in supporting culture and science and its ability to efficiently manage this cultural project with his support and according to the academy’s ambitious plans,” he said.


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.