Abu Dhabi announces list of 42 contestants for Prince of Poets Competition

ABU DHABI, 30th January, 2017 (WAM) — The Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi has shortlisted 42 contestants to take part in the Prince of Poets competition for its 7th season.

Over 3 days, 150 contestants were interviewed by members of the Jury at Al Raha Beach Theatre in Abu Dhabi.

The selection of the final 42 contestants came following direct interviews that were characterised by imagery, creativity, linguistic splendour and expressive beauty. The members of the jury, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, UAE, Dr. Salah Fadhl, Egypt, and Dr. Abdul Malek Mortadh, Algeria, hailed the excellent artistic and creative capabilities of participating contestants.

Before the selection of the contestants, the members of the jury held intensive meetings so as to assess and select the finest of the participating poets, according to meticulous aesthetic and critical criteria.

Considered one of the most prominent TV programmes in the Arab region, the Prince of Poets is inspired by entrenched Arab heritage. It aims at restoring great works of Arab poetry and literature. The programme also seeks to revive Arab cultural heritage while stimulating creative production on the contemporary poetry scene in the Arab region.

The 42 selected contestants come from 16 different countries. They are currently undertaking additional tests of merit that are more challenging and arduous. Following these tests, the members of the jury are expected to reveal the final list of 20 poets who will take part in the live episodes of the TV programme. Over the period of 10 weeks, the Prince of Poets programme will be broadcast on Abu Dhabi TV and Baynounah TV, starting from the 21st of February 2017.

Over 3 weeks, recorded episodes of the TV programme will be broadcast from the 31st of January so as to give the audience an opportunity to watch the direct interviews with the various contestants. On the 21st of February, the broadcast of the live episodes will kick off, with the participation of 20 poets who represent the cream of the contestants.

Over six seasons, the programme has revealed the talents of 165 gifted poets, aged between 18 and 45 years old. The creative productions of these poets have been assembled and documented by the Academy in outstanding poetry collections.

Since 2007, six poets from six Arab countries, the UAE, Mauritania, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have won the title of the Prince of Poets. Over the years, the TV programme has managed to attract a large audience and secure a local, regional and international media coverage that has surpassed all expectations.

The terms and conditions for participation in the first stage stipulate that the contestant must present a classical Arabic poem, on any theme that the poet wishes to address. The traditional classical poems ‘amudi’ (in column form) as well as free verse or taf’ila, metric, poems are accepted.

The Prince of Poets received the Golden Award in the category of “Best cultural TV Programme” at the Gulf Radio and TV Production Festival (2016) in Manama. The programme also received the Al Owais Award for Creativity in 2014 as the “Best Local Cultural TV Programme”.

In 2009, the Prince of Poets was awarded two prestigious prizes in the field of television production, both at the Arab and international levels. The programme was picked as the Best Creative Programme at the British A.I.B Festival, and it also received the Golden Award as the “Best TV Programme” at the Gulf Radio and TV Production Festival in Bahrain.