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.


Saudi Crown prince’s India visit will help expand ties beyond energy

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India will boost robust interactions that New Delhi has established with Saudi Arabia over the last few years. (Supplied)
Updated 20 February 2019
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Saudi Crown prince’s India visit will help expand ties beyond energy

  • New Delhi’s participation in Kingdom’s mega projects a major aspect of renewed ties: Talmiz Ahmad

NEW DELHI: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s first visit to India is a landmark development in bilateral ties between India and Saudi Arabia, according to Talmiz Ahmad, a former ambassador to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia is India’s largest supplier of crude oil, but since taking office in 2014 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to use India’s growing economy to attract more investment from Saudi Arabia beyond energy, and foster cooperation on trade, infrastructure and defense.

Ahmad, author of several books on the Arab world and twice India’s Ambassador to Riyadh, said that while the backbone of New Delhi’s relationship with the Kingdom is energy, the two sides had been discussing “how to give greater substance and longevity to the relationship on the basis of concrete projects.”

Reuters reported this week that India is expecting Prince Salman to announce an initial investment in its National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, a quasi-sovereign wealth fund, to help accelerate the building of ports and highways. Saudi Arabia has also suggested investing in India’s farming industry, with an eye on food imports to the Kingdom. 

Ahmad said Saudi Arabia’s NEOM project, a $500 billion smart city in Tabuk province on the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, would also provide great opportunities for Indian companies. 

He added that Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the crown prince’s blueprint to fundamentally transform Kingdom’s economy, presents another opportunity for Indian businesses to prosper from the relationship.

“India is extremely well placed,” said Ahmad. “We are world leaders in small and medium enterprises and in the services sector. Saudi Arabia also has proposals to develop its tourism and leisure sectors, and I believe India is also well placed in those areas too.”

He also discussed how the strategic partnership had been initiated by former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who visited Riyadh in 2010, but that Modi, who visited in 2016, had added “considerable substance” to the relationship.

He stressed, though, that Riyadh’s ties with India are independent of its relationship with Pakistan. He added India and Saudi Arabia were also working together to improve the security situation in Afghanistan, to resolve the 17-year conflict between government forces and the Afghan Taliban, as well as in the wider West Asia region. 

“India has excellent relations with all the countries in West Asia, and New Delhi is well placed to address some of the concerns that all the countries have with each other,” he said.