Unprecedented Participation Reflects Poets' Awareness of their Nation's Issues
Albabtain: "1410 Poems Brimming with Sincere Emotions Submitted for Participation in the Diwan of "Shuhada Al-Izza."
With the Participation of 1246 Poets, Male and Female, Representing 36 Arab and Foreign Countries.
December 4, 2023
Poet Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation, affirmed that, in commitment to its duty towards the issues of our Arab nation, the Foundation issued a call on Monday, October 23rd of last year. This call was directed to all Arab poets worldwide to participate in the "Diwan of Shuhada Al-Izza" (Poetry Collection named Martyrs of Honor). The aim is to express the national and humanitarian sentiments simmering within the souls of the Arab and Islamic nation's children, as well as in the hearts of all honorable individuals and those with a living conscience everywhere. This expression is in response to the horrendous atrocities against innocent civilians in Gaza, perpetrated without mercy or restraint against the Palestinian people, reflecting the collective conscience and feelings towards the ongoing events.
The Foundation announced the organization of a competition among the poems participating in this poetry collection (Diwan). The decision rests with a specialized artistic judging committee, comprising a select group of prominent literature professors and contemporary poetry critics. This follows the objective and structured approach that has been consistently applied since the establishment of the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Prize for Poetic Creativity in 1989.
Albabtain added, "We have allocated three prizes for the best three poems among those accepted for participation in the diwan. The first prize is valued at $10,000, the second at $7,000, and the third at $5,000. The deadline for submissions was Thursday, November 30, 2023."
In the same context, Albabtain elaborated, "This initiative comes as an affirmation of our steadfast beliefs in the just Palestinian cause and a continuation of our ongoing efforts to highlight the role of poetry in embodying the positions of the Arab nation and defending its legitimate rights at all times. Since we released 'The Martyr Muhammad al-Durrah Diwan in 2001, followed by 'The Jerusalem Diwan in 2018, our commitment has always been and will remain, by the grace of God, tied to our absolute trust in the consciences of our poets, their national sensibilities, their belief in the just rights of the Palestinian people, and their genuine responsibility to express the positions of the Arab individual, his feelings, emotions in times of joy, pride, and triumph, as well as in moments of setback and defeat."
Albabtain further clarified, "What we are proud of is that, over a period of thirty-nine days, the Foundation witnessed an unprecedented and intense participation of poets. In this short period, 1246 poets, both male and female, responded to our call from 36 Arab and foreign countries. They contributed by submitting 1410 poems filled with sincere and lively emotions that depict the difficult moments we are going through and our feelings towards these harsh events."
Poet Abdulaziz Albabtain affirmed, "Undoubtedly, this unprecedented and massive participation reflects the poets' awareness of their nation's issues, their deep sense of the values of righteousness, justice, and humanity, as well as their belief in the role of poetry in influencing the mind and soul." He emphasized that "if the conscience of many in the world has died, your consciences, poets, will remain alive and will never die."
He concluded: "I express my gratitude to all participating poets and appreciate their poems, which will immortalize their testimony through the ages. I mourn the noble martyrs, pray for the swift recovery of the injured in resilient Gaza, and share the hope with you for dignity and victory for our Arab nation."