This meeting was held in Beirut under the auspices of the late Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri. It hosted a large number of poets, writers, critics and others interested in the poetic movement from the Arab world.
The prizes were awarded as follows:
1. The Poetic Creativity Prize, valued at US$ 40,000 (US Dollars forty thousand), was awarded to the Palestinian poet Sameeh Al-Qasem for his complete poetic works.
2. The Poetry Criticism Prize, valued at US$ 40,000 (US Dollars forty thousand), was awarded to the Moroccan critic Dr. Idris Balmaleeh for his complete critical works.
3. The Best Divan Prize, valued at US$ 40,000 (US Dollars forty thousand), was suspended, so the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain decided to award the prize in its full value to two poets instead of one. The prize was awarded equally between the Syrian poet Shawki Baghdadi for his divan «Something Belonging to the Soul» and the Jordanian poet Mohammed Al-Qaisi for his divan «A Flue on Our Days».
4. The Best Poem Prize, valued at US$ 10,000 (US Dollars ten thousand), was awarded to the Saudi poet Jassem Al-Suhayyeh for his poem «Antara in Captivity».
* Literary seminar sessions were held simultaneously with the ceremony. The seminar was held in Bortemilio Hotel in Al-Kasleek between 14 and 17/10/1998. Eight research and one lecture were delivered, commented on and discussed. The seminar’s program included three evening poetry recitals and two musical performances.