Now, a ‘House of Poetry’ to promote Arabic works

July 8th, 2008 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, July 8 (IANS) A new ‘House of Poetry’ will come up in this Middle East metropolis that will promote, research and document classical and contemporary Arabic poetry and strengthen its presence and profile within the Arab world and beyond. Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has directed that a House of Poetry be established. The initiative will be set up by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.

“The House of Poetry is another milestone achievement that will complement Dubai’s record of strategic initiatives, offering Arabic literature the standing it deserves,” Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid, chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (DCAA), said in a statement issued here Tuesday.

“The House will encourage Dubai’s drive to promote quality cultural output, particularly in poetry, an integral component of Arabic culture,” he added.

The House of Poetry will be located at the Al Shindagha area in Dubai and will focus on academic research and systematic documentation of Arabic poetry, while hosting a range of poetry-related activities such as competitions and awards, reading sessions, workshops, conferences, forums and seminars.

A priority of the house will be to promote, research and document Nabati poetry, an indigenous form of verse unique to the Gulf region, the DCAA statement said.

It will also facilitate knowledge and expertise transfer through interaction between emerging and veteran Arab poets, and provide young Arab poets financial support for publishing their poems.

“The House of Poetry will complement the role and mission of the Dubai International Poetry Festival, which was recently commissioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” Sheikh Majid said.

He added that the two initiatives would actively attract renowned poets from the Arab region and different parts of the world, fostering Dubai’s position as a platform for global cultural dialogue.

The Arab world is a rich storehouse of poetry, chronicling its people’s achievements, customs and traditions. Known as ‘Diwan Al-Arab’ (The Register of the Arabs), the genre of poetry is embedded in the region’s cultural roots and has enjoyed coveted status over generations of literary lovers, the DCAA statement added.

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