"During the ceremony held in his honor on the occasion of being chosen as the Distinguished Personality of the 26th Al-Qurain Cultural Festival, the significant message that Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain has championed reflects the civilized aspect of Kuwait."
January 18, 2020
Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs in Kuwait, and the Chairman of the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters, Mohammed Al-Jabri, stated that the State Appreciation and Encouragement Awards underscore the high-level political leadership's sponsorship of every creative national idea.
This statement was made in a speech by Al-Jabri on the evening of Saturday, during the ceremony where these awards were distributed to the winners for the year 2019 and where the Distinguished Personality of the 26th Al-Qurain Cultural Festival, poet Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, was honored. The event took place at the Abdulhussain Abdulredha Theatre.
Al-Jabri welcomed the attendees on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister, who is the patron of the festival. He expressed his pleasure at honoring the creative individuals and recognizing active figures, while celebrating the festival's honoree, conveying his congratulations and appreciation for this selection and recognition.
On his part, the Secretary-General of the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters, Kamil Al-Abduljaleel, stated that the poet Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain has contributed significantly to Kuwait and achieved great accomplishments in culture, literature, and humanity. Al-Abduljaleel pointed out that Albabtain's significant message reflects the cultural face of Kuwait, praising everything he has offered throughout his continuous journey. He extended congratulations to all the winners of the State Awards as an acknowledgment of their remarkable creations that deserved recognition.
The celebration included the screening of a documentary film about the Distinguished Personality of the festival, supervised by Fawziya Al-Ali, narrated by journalist Yousif Jawhar, and directed by Abdullah Dahan. The film highlighted Albabtain's cultural journey, his establishment of a Foundation in his name that spans various fields such as poetry, libraries, book publishing, interfaith and intercultural dialogue, and the creation of numerous chairs in international universities, particularly focused on Arab culture.
During the documentary, Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain spoke about his relationship with poetry and how he composed his first poem when he was under the age of 15. He mentioned the encouragement he received from his father and his brother Abdullatif. The film then captured the moment of honoring Albabtain and presenting him with a model of Al-Mubarakiah School, which holds the distinction of being Kuwait's first school.
Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain expressed his gratitude to the council members for choosing him as the Distinguished Personality of the festival, stating that the Al-Qurain Festival has become a prominent cultural phenomenon, an annual event that hosts distinguished activities and gathers numerous creators and cultural icons to present activities eagerly awaited by many.
He also noted that the most important achievements of the Albabtain Cultural Foundation during its 31 years since its inception are focused on three areas. The first is poetry, where the Foundation organized 14 sessions for the Poetic Creativity Awards in several capitals and held 12 Poetry Spring Festivals. In addition to publishing numerous encyclopaedias, including "Albabtain Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Arab Poets" and "Albabtain Encyclopaedia of Arab Poets in the 19th and 20th Centuries," the Foundation has undertaken the ambitious project of creating "Albabtain's Encyclopaedia of Arab Poets in the Era of States and Emirates from 1258 to 1800 AD" in 25 volumes, encompassing around 10,000 poets. This monumental work is scheduled to be released in March of this year.
Mr. Albabtain also mentioned that the second field of focus is centered around the theme of intercultural dialogue and coexistence among religions. The Foundation has organized eight major activities, ranging from conferences to symposiums, in several European cities. This field aims to foster understanding and harmony among cultures and religions.
He also mentioned that the third domain pertains to the culture of peace, including the issuance of his book titled "Contemplations for Peace," in which he delved into the concept of just peace, as well as the significance of education and upbringing. He highlighted the submissions made by the Foundation to the United Nations in the years 2017 and 2018, where the Foundation’s vision was unanimously endorsed. He underscored that the Foundation has advanced to a pivotal phase in its history, evidenced by the formulation of seventeen curricula for the culture of peace, spanning from early childhood to university levels. Additionally, the Foundation has established collaborations with approximately 200 universities worldwide in this context.
Albabtain considered these curricula as a Kuwaiti and Arab initiative, shaped through the collaborative efforts of heads of states, governments, and experts from over 20 countries representing diverse cultures.
He delved into the Foundation’s collaboration with various international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the Red Cross, and the Red Crescent, in establishing the first World Forum for the Culture of Peace. This forum was hosted at the premises of the International Court of Justice, where an agreement was signed to host the forum for the next ten years. He highlighted that the inaugural forum focused on Yemen, Iraq, and Central Africa. Moreover, he pointed out the establishment of numerous chairs at various international universities to teach Arabic culture, in addition to the Albabtain Mission at the International Court of Justice.