Session 4: Aboul-Qacem Echebbi Session, Fez, Morocco, 10-12 October 1994:
The Board of Trustees issued a decision stipulating that the prize shall be awarded during a ceremony held biannually to provide the committees and participating researchers with adequate time to prepare and write their research and to issue publications about the selected poets of the meetings and their creative work. The Board of Trustees’ decision also highlighted the importance of expanding the circle of important poets so that the chosen poet comes from a country different to that in which the ceremony is being held. As Echebbi comes from Tunisia, it was decided that the ceremony was to be held in Morocco in order to show the importance of the Arab Maghreb poets and their poetic prestige in the Arab world.
As Fez was the Moroccan cultural capital, it was chosen to host the ceremony, under the auspices of his Majesty the late King Hassan II and in the presence of his Majesty King Mohammed VI, who was then Crown Prince. The ceremony, organized by the Foundation in cooperation with «Fez Saiss» Moroccan Society, was attended by a large number of guests from various Arab countries, which exceeded two hundred poets, critics and personalities interested in Arabic culture.
The awards were distributed as follows:
1. Creativity Prize in Poetry, valued at US$ 40,000 (US Dollars forty thousand), was won by poetess Fadwa Touqan for her complete poetic works.
2. Creativity Prize in Poetry Criticism, valued at US$ 40,000 (US Dollars forty thousand), was won by the critic Professor Mustafa Nassef for his book «Voice of the Ancient Poet» and his overall critical works.
3. The Best Diwan Prize, valued at US$ 20,000 (US Dollars twenty thousand), was jointly won by the poet Ahmed Ghorab for his book of verse «Inscriptions on the Wall of Silence» and the Poet Khalid Mohyeddin Al-Baradie for his collection «Abdullah and the World».
4. The Best Poem Prize, valued at US$ 10,000 (US Dollars ten thousand), was suspended.
* After the prize awarding ceremony, a two-part seminar was held. The first part discussed the works of «Abu Al-Qassem Echebbi», while the other was dedicated to research related to the Contemporary Arab poem.
* It is important to note that the amount of the prize was raised from EP 180,000 (Egyptian Pounds one hundred and eighty thousand) to US$110,000 (US Dollars one hundred and ten thousand).