Arab Poetry Spring Festival
The Foundation aspires to keeping up to date with cultural and poetry developments around the world and given that the International Poetry Day is designated on March 21st of every year, the Foundation has set up the Spring Poetry Festival.
Starting from 2008, the Foundation implemented this cultural tradition in the auditorium of Albabtain’s Central Library for Arabic Poetry from 24-26 March 2008. The event included three consecutive evening poetry recitals and welcomed a range of national and international poets.
Season 1, 24-25-26 March 2008:
It was held at the stage of the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Central Library for Arab Poetry in three consecutive poetry evenings, featuring a selection of poets from Kuwait and abroad.
First Poetry Evening: Dr. Khaled Al-Shayji, Dr. Ashjan Al-Hindi, Dr. Ali Al-Baz, Dr. Reza Rajab, and Rawdah Al-Hajj.
Second Poetry Evening: Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, Sulaiman Al-Filaih, Samir Al-Rifai, Raja Al-Qahtani, Haider Najm, and Karim Mu'attuq.
Third Poetry Evening: Dr. Abdulaziz Jumaa, Walid Al-Qallaf, Ahmed Bakhit, Ghaneema Zaid Al-Harb, and Ibrahim Siddiqi.
Season 2, March 2009:
First Poetry Evening: Mr. Mohammad Ibrahem Abu Sennah, Dr. Salem Khadada, Mr. Ali Al-Failakawi, Ms. Ghaidaa Al-Ayoubi
* Readings from the late poet, Khaled Saud Al-Zaid’s texts; read by his son Saud and Dr. Salem Abbas Khadada
Second Poetry Evening: Mr. Yaqoub Al-Subaai, Mr. Al-Zoubair Dardoukh, Dr. Al-Saed Shawareb, Mr. Mohammad Al-Hariri
* Readings from the late poet Mohammad Al-Fayez’s texts; read by the poet Nashmi Muhanna
* A debate about the Arabic poetry in current time.
Season 3, March 2010:
First Poetry Evening: Dr. Abdulmuhsen Al-Tabtabaei, Ms. Hanan Abdulqader, Mr. Hussein Al-Andaleeb, Mr. Ali Swaidan, Mr. Ahmad Swailem
* Readings from Fahed Al-Askar’s texts; read by Dr. Abu Shawareb
Second Poetry Evening: Ms. Dalal Al-Baroud, Mr. Islam Hajras, Ms. Huda Meqati, Mr. Mohammad Al-Mughrabi, Mr. Jassem Al-Saheih
* Readings from Abdullah Sinan’s texts; read by Raja Al-Qahtani
* Lecture by Mr. Wadea Palestine “Al-Mahjar Poetry and Some of its Figures”
Season 4, (21-22-23) March 2011:
The fourth season was held from the 21st until the 23rd of March 2011.
The First Poetry Evening: Jihaan Barakat (Egypt), Walleed Al-Qallaf (Kuwait), Alzubair Dardukh (Algeria) took part in the first poetry evening.
* Mr. AbdulMoneim Salem read excerpts by the poet Ahmad Al-Saqqaf while Dr. Muhammad Abou Shawarib read poems for Ghazi Al-Qusaibi.
The Second Poetry Evening: Mishari Al-Dikhayel (Kuwait), Dr Ali Al-Baz (Egypt), Ms. Dalal Al-Baroud (Kuwait), Muhammad Turki Hijazi (Jordan) and Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain (Kuwait).
The Third Poetry Evening: Dr Yacoub Yousif Al-Ghunaim (Kuwait), Salem Al-Rumaidhi (Kuwait), Mohamad Amin Al-Omar (Jordan), Maisoon Al-Suwaidan (Kuwait), Muhammad Ibrahim Yacoub (KSA), Faleh Bin Tifla (Kuwait) and Hassan Shehab Al-Din (Egypt).
There was also an adjoining book fair exhibiting the books of the poets Ghazi Al-Qusaibi and Ahmed Al-Saqqaf, as well as academic books published on the two poets.
Two literary seminars were conducted over the two days, with the first focusing on the poet Ahmed Al-Saqqaf, with Dr. Yacoub Yusif Al-Ghunaim presenting his research paper titled ‘The Human Poet: Ahmad Al-Saqqaf,”, as well as Dr. Muhammad Hassan Abdullah presenting a research paper titled ‘The Image and Poetic Structure in Saqqaf’s Diwan.” Dr. Khalifa Al-Woqqayan moderated the session.
The second seminar was dedicated to the poet Ghazi Al-Qusaibi. Dr. Abdullah Ahmed Al-Muhanna presented a research paper titled "Spaces of Poetic Experience and Artistic Manifestations in the Poetic Discourse of Ghazi Al-Qusaibi." Renowned media personality and journalist Mr. Jihad Al-Khazen also spoke during the seminar, providing insights and impressions about Al-Qusaibi based on his close acquaintance with him. The session was moderated by Dr. Suad Al-Mana, from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Season 5, (25-26-27 March 2012), Abdullah Zakariya Al-Ansari and Muhyiddin Khurayef:
The fifth season of the “Spring Poetry Festival” was launched on Sunday, March 25, 2012, at 6 pm in Albabtain Central Library for Arabic Poetry, with the inauguration of a Book Fair which included books and collections of poetry for the two celebrated poets of the fifth season: the Kuwaiti Abdullah Zakaria Al-Ansari and the Tunisian Muhyiddin Khurayef , along with books about them both, in addition to the Foundation’s publications.
Sixteen poets from inside Kuwait and abroad have participated in the festival. The first poetry evening was held at 7pm and included the readings of selected poems of the poet Abdullah Zakaria Al-Ansari.
On the second day, March 26, a literary seminar on the two celebrated poets, was held, in which Dr. Salem Abbas Khodadah, Dr. Badr Al-Khalifah lectured about Al-Ansari. While Mr. Fadel Khalaf, Dr. Muhammad Saleh bin Omar gave lectures on the Tunisian poet Muhyiddin Khurayef. The seminar discussed the humanitarian and literary sides in the life of two poets.
The festival concluded its activities on the evening of Tuesday, March 27 with a second poetry night reading that included selected poems of the poet Muhyiddin Khurayef.
The participating poets in the evenings of the festival were:
From Kuwait: Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, Ibrahim Al-Khalidi, Abdullah Al-Failkawi, Dalal Al-Baroud, Salem Al- Rumadhi
From Saudi Arabia: Jassim Al-Saheeh, Abdullateef bin Yousef Al-Mubaraki
From Egypt Ahmed Fadel Shabloul and Mahmoud Othman
From Syria: Bahija Idlebi
From Iraq: Omar Anaz and Fares Haram
From Sudan: Rawda Al-Hajj
From Jordan: Ayman Al-Otoum
From Comoros: Hassan Souli and Muhammad Klem
The Foundation also released, on this occasion, three books: the “first edition of Abdullah Zakaria Al-Ansari’s collection of poems”, as he has never released his poetry. This edition includes all his known poetry. The second book is a “diwan of the Tunisian poet Muhyiddin Khurayef,” which includes poems published for the first time, and finally a book about “the activities of the previous Spring Poetry Festival in its fourth season, held in March 2011”.
A number of media and interested personalities from outside Kuwait were invited to attend the festival.
Season 6, (24-25-26 March 2013), Abdullah Sinan and the Prairie Poet Muhammad El-Sayed Shehata
Under the patronage and the distinguished presence of His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the sixth edition of the “Arab Poetry Spring” festival kicked off on Sunday, March 24, 2013, at 6 pm.
This year’s festival included an exhibition for the Foundation’s publications which included all books, encyclopaedias, poetry collections published by the Foundation since its establishment until 2013. The publications of the Sixth edition of the festival were distributed to the Foundation’s guests. The Foundation has also issued three numbers of the issues “Al-Ja’ezah” magazine (No.75,76,77) with the activities of the festival.
In the opening ceremony, the awards of the thirteenth session of the Foundation were distributed as follows:
- The Honorary Award of the Foundation’s poetic creativity was awarded to the Egyptian poet Farouk Joweideh for his entire works.
- The prize of Best poem was awarded to Tunisian poet Al-Makki Al-Hammami for his poem (Prince of visions).
- The prize for Best Diwan was awarded to the Saudi poet Al-Jasim Al-Saheeh for his collection of poems (Behind the Singer Throats).
- The prize of the Creativity in the poetry criticism was awarded to Yusuf Olaimat of Jordan for his book (The Cultural Pattern: A Reading in the Ancient Patterns of Arabic Poetry).
The first poetry evening: Faleh Al-Ajhar (Kuwait), Sabah Debbi (Morocco), Mohammad Al-Azam (Jordan), Nafe’ Salama (Egypt), Al-Makki Al- Hammami (Tunisia), Hazber Mahmoud (Iraq).
* The evening featured readings of texts of the poet Abdullah Sinan, recited by Dr. Salem Abbas Khodadah.
* On the second day, a literary seminar was held for the celebrated poets, Abdullah Sinan (Kuwait), and the Poet of the Prairie, Muhammad Shehata (Egypt), in which Dr Yakoub A- Ghoneim, Dr. Muhammad Hassan Abdullah, Dr. Morsel Al-Ajmi spoke about the two poets along with Dr. Samaa Ahmed Issawi the prairie poet’s granddaughter.
The second poetry evening: Qasim bin Rasheed (Iran), Shaimaa Muhammad Hassan (Egypt), Khalifa bin Araby (Bahrain), Talal Al-Khoder (Kuwait), Abdulaziz Hammadi (Iran), Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain (Kuwait), Anmar Al-Jarrah (Iraq), Wadha Al-Hasawi (Kuwait), Jassim Al-Saheeh (Saudi Arabia).
* The evening featured also texts readings of the Prairie’s Poet.
Season 7, (23-24-25 March 2014), Muhammad Al-Fayez and Omar Abu Risha:
Under the auspices of His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the seventh iteration of the “ Spring of Arabic poetry” festival, (23- 25 March 2014), was launched at the theater of Albabtain Central Library for Arabic Poetry.
On behalf of the patron of the festival, the Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah inaugurated the festival, in the presence of the former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, Sheikh Ali Al-Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, and a group of diplomats and intellectuals.
Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud also praised, in his speech, the initiatives of the Foundation of Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain’s Prize for Poetic Creativity on the cultural scene, by collecting poems of thousands poets, publishing and holding seminars to discuss it. The Foundation introduced the Arabic poetry to the East and West, showed the humanitarian aspects of poetry and its openness message to all cultures and civilizations”.
In turn, the Foundation Chairman, the poet Abdulaziz Albabtain stated that the Foundation has undertaken since its establishment, the responsibility of reviving the glory to Arabic poetry and restoring its presence among people of different walks of life, making poetry the first art in the field of saying. He also emphasized that poetry remains the foremost art in the realm of expression, and Albabtain Foundation continues to fulfill its mission by uncovering the masterpieces of this poetry in its seminars and sessions, honoring the journey of its knights and prominent figures, while opening windows to the present that shed light on the vast treasury of heritage hidden in the depths of libraries, waiting to be brought to life in our imaginations.
In conclusion, the chairman of the Foundation extended his gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, the Prime Minister for his kind patronage. He also thanked the Minister of Information for his presence, as well as the former Croatian President, the sheikhs and the esteemed guests, and the poets. He extended a warm welcome to the ambassadors of poetry among the festival’s guests.
For his part, the former President of the Republic of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic said in his speech: “The intellectuals’ message was throughout ages a message of goodness and tolerance, today we live in an era full of conflicts, hatred that makes us in dire need of this good message, this message is a contribution to rapprochement and understanding between human cultures and experiences.”
On the sidelines of the ceremony, Minister of Information Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud inaugurated the book fair that included new fourteen publications of the Foundation of Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain’s Prize for Poetic Creativity about poetry, literary criticism, which are:
"Sheikh Muhammad Amin Fa'al Al-Khayr Al-Shanqiti: The Founder of Al-Najah School and His Reformist Thought and Scholarly Legacy" by Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar Weld Aba.
"The Discourse of Women in the Poetry of Omar Abu Risha" by Dr. Najma Idris.
"The Sufi Trend in the Poetry of Omar Abu Risha" by Dr. Wafiq Salayteen.
"The Artistic Structure of the Poem in the Poetry of Muhammad Al-Fayez" by Dr. Abdullah Ahmed Al-Muhanna.
"The Poetic and Humanitarian Experience of Muhammad Al-Fayez" by Dr. Shatha Al-Fayez.
"Contemporary Arabic Poetry in Iran: Trends and Models" by Dr. Abdulredha Atash.
Third Poetry Evening: "Arabic Poetry in Iran."
Season 8, (29-30-31 March 2015), Rashid Al-Saif and Abdullah Al-Khalili:
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait, the activities of the 8th season of the Arab Poetry Spring Festival commenced on the stage of the Albabtain Central Library for Arab Poetry. The festival began at 6:30 PM on Sunday, March 29, 2015, and continued for three days (March 29, 30, 31).
More than twenty poets were invited to this year’s festival to perform in its poetry evening, along with a number of academics who participated in a seminar discussing the two celebrated poets of the festival, namely the Kuwaiti Rashid Al-Saif and the Omani Abdullah Al-Khalili.
On behalf of the festival’s patron, Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah, the Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, inaugurated the festival’s events. In his speech, he stated “Albabtain Foundation is a Kuwaiti-Arab cultural institution that stands proudly in the sky of Arabic poetry, literature, and culture."
He emphasized "Kuwait's belief in the importance of supporting humanitarian intellectual and cultural creativity, deepening the culture of dialogue, and enlightening constructive thinking to promote the development and stability of nations and communities."
Furthermore, he highlighted that "the development of intellectual and cultural assets is at the forefront of the political leadership's priorities, led by His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and the Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah."
In turn, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain delivered a speech in which he stated: “The Arabic Poetry Spring Festival brings back the essence of our nation's heritage, and we pay homage and reverence to this enchanting and legendary poetry.”
After the speeches concluded, the programme moved to the second part of the opening ceremony, which was a musical performance by the Lebanese singer Ghada Shbeir who chanted, accompanied by her band, a selection of poems by poet Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain.
Prior to the speeches, the Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah inaugurated the book fair featuring 13 new publications by the Foundation released on the occasion of this festival.
The events of the second day of the festival included a literary seminar on the Kuwaiti poet Rashid Al-Saif, featuring Dr. Ya'qoub Al-Ghanim and Mr. Nael Abdullah Al-Saif (the grandson of the celebrated poet). The seminar was moderated by Dr. Fatima Al-Azmi.
After the seminar concluded, the first poetry evening of the festival took place, with participation from poets: Ghusun bin Hilal Al-Ubri, Khalaf Al-Khalidi, Farouk Shousha, Mishaal Al-Zu'bi, Saeed Al-Suqalawi, Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, Haider Al-Abdullah, Iyad Ahmed Hashem, Talal Al-Khudair, Abdulmuneim Salem, and Muhammad Khamees. The evening was moderated by Dr. Nermin Al-Houti.
On the third day of the festival, the second literary seminar was held, focusing on the poet Abdullah Al-Khalili. The session was moderated by Dr. Nouria Al-Rumi, and the speakers included Dr. Ahmed Darwish, Dr. Saeed Al-Suqalawi, and Mr. Muhammad Al-Khalili (son of the poet Abdullah Al-Khalili).
Following the literary session, the second poetry evening took place, featuring a group of poets: Khalaf Kulkool, Salem Al-Rumaidhi, Saeed Shawarib, Diaa Al-Hariri, Abdullah Al-Failakawi, Alaa Janib, Mohamed Ibrahim Yakoub, Mohamed Amin Al-Omar, Medhat Al-Asyuti, Mariam Fadl, and Hisham Al-Saqri. The evening was moderated by Ms. Huda Ashkanani.
In the conclusion of the festival's events, the Chairman of the Foundation expressed gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister, for his generous patronage of the festival, as well as to the representative of the patron, Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah.
He also extended greetings to the guests who had come from various Arab regions to demonstrate that Arab poetry cannot be taken as anything less than a unified entity encompassing all corners of the Arab world. He emphasized that the Foundation remains committed to being the voice and patron of Arab poetry.
Season 9, (29-30-31 March 2016), Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab and Suleiman Al-Jarallah:
Under the patronage of His Excellency the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and in the presence of His Representative, His Excellency Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, the events of the Arab Poetry Spring Festival commenced on the stage of the Central Albabtain Library for Arab Poetry. This year, the festival celebrates the renowned Iraqi poet Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab and the Kuwaiti poet Suleiman Al-Jarallah.
The festival spanned three consecutive days and featured the participation of over twenty poets in three poetic evenings. The first evening, titled "Love of Kuwait," paid tribute to Kuwait's selection as the Capital of Islamic Culture for the year 2016, as honored by the Foundation.
The opening ceremony started with the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah and the poet Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, Chairman of the Foundation, accompanied by former Bosnian President Dr. Haris Silajdžić, Algerian Minister of Education Tahar Hadjar, Tunisian State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Touhami Abdouli, Sheikh Ibrahim Duaij Al-Sabah, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, Khaled Al-Jarallah, and a large number of esteemed figurers and guests of the festival. They inaugurated the book fair, which showcased the Foundation’s publications dedicated to the celebrated poets of this season: Al-Jarallah and Al-Sayyab, in addition to other publications.
Following the book fair, the attendees moved to the library's theater to witness the opening ceremony. The Kuwaiti national anthem was played, followed by the recitation of selected verses from the Holy Quran.
During his speech, the Deputy patron of the festival, Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, the Minister of Information, stated, "Kuwait has become a site for enlightenment and cultural and intellectual radiance, as well as a hub for poetry and literature. The festival emphasizes the important leading role played by Kuwait as a leading figure in civilization, culture, and humanity, under the auspices and support of the highest political leadership, in recognition of the importance of words and literature."
He also emphasized, "Kuwaiti poets have never been detached from the concerns, hopes, and aspirations of their Arab and Islamic nation."
Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud expressed his gratitude to the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation, considering it one of Kuwait's effective soft powers on both the Arab and Islamic levels, appreciating its cultural, intellectual, and enlightening role and wishing the poets every success.
Furthermore, he conveyed his greetings, on behalf of the festival patron, to the poets and guests, wishing them success and a pleasant stay.
President of the Foundation, Professor Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, delivered a speech expressing his utmost gratitude and appreciation to His Excellency Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister, for his gracious patronage of the 9th Arab Poetry Spring Festival. He also thanked Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, a prominent figure in media and culture, known for his profound appreciation of culture, intellectuals, and support for various forms of creativity, emphasizing his support to cultural activities and his dedication to benefiting our beloved country.
Albabtain welcomed the festival guests and participating poets, announcing that starting from the next edition, the Foundation would introduce awards for young poets under the age of thirty-five for the best poetry collection and the best poem, in addition to the existing prestigious awards. This initiative reflects the Foundation’s aspiration to restore poetry to its glory and elevate its status.
Season 10, (27-29 March 2017), Yakoub Abdulaziz Al-Rasheed and Moustafa Wahbi Al-Tel
The 10th Arab Poetry Spring Festival was held under the gracious patronage of His Excellency the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, with the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Muhammad Al-Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Acting Minister of Information, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait News Agency, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah, and deputies from the National Assembly, as well as academic, cultural, and media figures from various Arab countries.
The opening ceremony began with a tour of the Foundation’s book fair, followed by speeches delivered by the Chairman of the Foundation, expressing gratitude to His Excellency the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, for his patronage of the 10th season of the Arab Poetry Spring Festival, and announcing the release of "The Arab Epic for Peace," a collaborative and extended poem that calls for peace, denounces violence, combats sectarianism, promotes coexistence, dialogue, and portrays the true image of the Islamic religion and the authentic Arab values.
The Chairman of the Foundation further stated that the Foundation chose the late poets Ya'qoub Abdulaziz Al-Rasheed from Kuwait and Moustafa Wahbi Al-Tel "Arrar" from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to honor them in this poetic season and to hold two cultural seminars about their works, in addition to two poetry evenings.
The following books were released during this festival:
"Diwan of the Poet Moustafa Wahba Al-Tel (Arrar)"
"Arrar, Other Faces"
"Selected Poems by Ya'qoub Al-Rasheed"
"The Poetic Discourse of Ya'qoub Al-Rasheed: A Literary Study"
"Book of Proceedings of the 9th Season of the Arab Poetry Spring Festival, March 2019"
"Language and Aesthetic Formation"
"Textual Confrontation in the Poetry of Ya'qoub Al-Rasheed"
The first literary seminar focused on the poet Ya'qoub Al-Rasheed. Dr. Abdulmajeed Falah presented a summary of a lecture by Dr. Turki Al-Mughaid, who was unable to attend due to his travel outside Kuwait. Additionally, Dr. Suad Al-Rasheed, the esteemed daughter of the late poet, spoke about her father's personal, professional, and literary life. The seminar was moderated by Dr. Abdullah Al-Muhanna.
The second seminar revolved around the poet "Arrar." Dr. Tariq Marioud Al-Tel from Jordan and Dr. Abdullah Ghleis from Kuwait delivered speeches, while the seminar was moderated by Dr. Suad Abdulwahab.
The participating poets included Ayah Osama Wahbi, Wadha Al-Hussawi, Musab Al-Ruwished, Jabir Al-Naama, Muayyad Al-Shaib, Muhammad Turki Hijazi, Abdulsamad Saqr, Salem Al-Rumaidhi, Ali Mubarak Al-Azimi, Maha Al-Otaibi, Khaled Al-Wughlani, Maysoun Abu Baker, Jafar Hijawi, and Abdulmajeed Falah.
Season 11, (25-26-27 March 2018), Dr. Suad Al-Sabah and Dr. Thuraya Al- Urayyedh:
The eleventh edition of the Arab Poetry Spring Festival was held under the gracious patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait. His Excellency Mr. Anas Al-Saleh, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, attended the event on behalf of His Excellency. The opening ceremony was also graced by the presence of His Excellency Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf, the Minister of Finance, and His Excellency Mr. Hassane Al-Arfawi, the Minister Counselor in charge of Culture, representing the President of the Republic of Tunisia. In addition, His Excellency Dr. Tahar Hadjar, the Minister of Higher Education in the Algerian Republic, and His Excellency Mr. Muhammad Bin Issa, the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, attended the event. His Excellency Mr. Nabeel Al-Hamar, Media Advisor to the Majesty the King of Bahrain, was also present, along with a large number of academics and media professionals from Kuwait and abroad.
The opening ceremony commenced with a tour of the book fair at the main hall of the Albabtain Central Library of Arab Poetry. The program continued with the playing of the Kuwaiti national anthem, recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, and the screening of the documentary film "Poetry and Peace," which highlights the Foundation’s journey and its role in intercultural dialogue. A visual report on the publications of the eleventh edition of the festival was also presented, with the notable inclusion of the collection "The Jerusalem Diwan," in which 223 poets responded to the Foundation’s call to support Jerusalem, affirm its Arab identity, and recognize it as the eternal capital of Palestine.
In his speech, the President of the Foundation stated, "Honoring the creative poets is a fundamental objective of the Foundation, and it is a tradition of gratitude and recognition of their contributions, as they carry the glory and pride of the nation."
The ceremony witnessed the honoring of the two celebrated poetesses, as they were presented with two commemorative shields. Mr. Ali Al-Masoudi, the Director of Suad Al-Sabah Publishing and Distribution House, accepted the honor shield on behalf of Dr. Suad Al-Sabah.
The opening ceremony witnessed the distribution of the awards for poetic creativity, which were dedicated by the Foundation to the winners among poets and critics in the sixteenth session as follows:
- Honorary prize for the poet Farouk Shousha (May he rest in peace) from Egypt
- Award for Creative Criticism jointly awarded to Dr. Fawzi Issa (Egypt) and Dr. Abdulrahman Abdel Salam (Egypt)
- Best Poetry Collection Award awarded to the poet Ahmed Antar Moustafa (Egypt)
- Best Poem award awarded to the poet Marwa Halawa (Syria)
As for the special prizes for young poets:
- Best Poetry Collection Award won by the poet Abdullatif bin Yusuf (Saudi Arabia)
- Best Poem Award won by the poet Omar Al-Raji (Morocco)
The festival included three poetry evenings featuring distinguished poets from Kuwait and various Arab countries.
During this festival, two literary seminars were held. The first one was dedicated to exploring the world of Dr. Suad Al-Sabah's poetry, moderated by Dr. Nouria Al-Roumi. It included two research papers, the first by Tunisian researcher Dr. Nour El-Hoda Bades, and the second by Kuwaiti writer Dr. Fatima Youssef Al-Ali. The second seminar featured a discussion by the poet Dr. Thuraya Al-Urayyedh about her poetic experience, with her daughter Dr. May Al-Dabbagh joining the conversation. Dr. Maisaad Al-Khawaja discussed “The Feminine Discourse in the Poetry of Thuraya Al-Urayyedh” in her research paper, and the session was moderated by Dr. Nesima Al-Ghaith.
The participating poets in the poetry evenings were Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, Ahmed Antar, Marwa Halawa, Abdullatif bin Yusuf, Omar Al-Rajhi, Samira Farji, Iman Al-Shammari, Amer Al-Amer, Areej Rasheed, Abdullah Al-Filkaawi, Rabia Al-Mawdhi, Abdulrahman Al-Najjar, Thuraya Al-Urayyedh, Maher Al-Khair, Mohannad Mish'al, Abdulaziz Luha, Mawdhi Rahhal, and Muhammad Awwadh.
Season 12, (24-25 March 2019), Karim Al-Iraqi and a Selection of Young Poets in Kuwait:
The twelfth edition of the Arab Poetry Spring Festival was held amidst a large attendance of poets, public figures, and Arab poetry enthusiasts.
The opening ceremony began with the Kuwaiti national anthem, followed by the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, the president of the Foundation, delivered a welcoming speech, expressing gratitude to the attendees and participants. He stated, "Poetry is our path, as it has been for those who preceded us in expressing our human emotions and overwhelming feelings. It is the essence of our culture, and our commitment to poetry and its advancement remains one of the goals of the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation. We will continue to prioritize the organization of Arab Poetry Spring Festivals, poetry evenings, and various activities to enhance the position of Arabic poetry among the people." He further emphasized the significance of poetry in promoting peace and intercultural dialogue, stating, "With the evolution and diversification of the foundation's activities and its expansion in its centers and interests, especially in promoting a culture of peace in the world, poetry remains one of our major concerns because we believe that poetry is a tool to a culture of peace and intercultural dialogue." Albabtain mentioned the focus on poetry alone in this season, without engaging in other panel discussions, and the encouragement of young poets under the age of 35.
He highlighted that the foundation released eleven diverse books on poetry and its studies during this season, which were made available to the attendees at the annual book fair of the foundation's publications.
Following the opening ceremony, the first poetry evening was held, moderated by Ms. Khawla Sulaiqa. It featured poet Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, who recited one of his poems titled "Eternal Creativity," conveying the idea that intellectual and literary contributions surpass the short lifespan of individuals. The audience also listened to one of his poems, previously performed by singer Ghada Shubeir, titled "Meeting."
Next, the festival's guest poet, Karim Al-Iraqi, took the stage, impressing the audience with his remarkable poetry characterized by strong vocabulary that reflects a person who loves life and defends beauty in all its forms.
In the second evening, moderated by Dr. Abdullah Mani Ghleis, Kuwaiti poets participated, including Saad bin Thaqil Al-Ajmi, Omar Nasser Al-Khaledi, Sayed Hashem Al-Mousa, Shahd Sakit Al-Shammari, Abdulrahman Al-Awadhi, Abdulaziz Al-Mashari, Hamdan Al-Budhali, and Ali Al-Habbashan. Poetry shined in this evening through the diverse themes, styles, and perspectives presented by the participating poets.