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SUNDAY 30 MAY 2010 www.pen.com.qa
Sheikha Mozah: A role model for women
lgerian Minister of Culture Khalida Toumi said last week that the Algerian Cultural Week, a cultural event hosted by the Qatari capital Doha, was yet another bridge of love and brotherhood between the peoples of Algeria and Qatar and also another means to bring the peoples of both countries closer. She added that H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned was a role model for women everywhere in the Arab world. “This event is the most beautiful expression of deep relations between our two brotherly peoples,” Toumi said, adding that the Algerian cultural convoys expressed the slogan, “Arab Culture is a nation and Doha is its capital” clearly. “Let’s all be united by culture,” she said. The Algerian ofﬁcial who was here to attend celebrations marking the choice of Doha as the capital of Arab culture for the year 2010, said leadership in her country had a strong desire that Algerian participation in the celebrations be both “powerful” and “distinguished”.
She recalled the Qatari participation in celebrations of Algiers as the capital of Arab culture for the year 2007. She described this participation as “strong”. “Qatar made a very good cultural week without forgetting the rest of its Arab brethren who also contributed to the success of celebrations in Algeria,” Toumi said. She referred to what she called “strong potential” for cultural cooperation between Qatar and Algeria. She added that sharing successful cultural experiences could beneﬁt every body. Toumi said the idea of cultural capitals remained important because it was not an end in itself, but an important occasion to revive cultural developments. “In Qatar, there’s a woman who makes strenuous efforts to open up new vistas for every body in her country,” Toumi said. “This woman is the First Lady of Qatar H H Sheikha Mozah,” she added.
Sheikha Mozah is a role model for women everywhere in the Arab world.
Event to bring Ibn Battuta lovers together
he ﬁrst gathering of translators of the great Arab traveller Ibn Battuta is due to be held in the Qatari capital Doha on 6 December under the title, ‘Arab and Muslim Travellers: Discovering Oneself and Others’. The conference aims to shed light on relations between the Arabian Peninsula and the African, Asian, and European continents as they were represented in travel literature, and the diaries of travellers, pilgrims, merchants, and adventurers. “The event will be a unique one, playing host to a group of the brightest Arab and foreign minds, academics, researchers, and writers from about 30 countries, including Qatar, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Lebanon,” said the Syrian poet Nouri Al-Jarrah.
Doha to host Urdu language celebration
he Doha Ur d u Literature Publishing Council is due to give prizes to the Indian writer Rtn Singh, and the Pakistani writer Masood Mufti during the 14th session of the International Prize for Publishing Urdu Literature and the International Poetry Symposium on June 3. The celebration, which will be held at the Sheraton Doha Hotel, will be sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage as part of its celebrations of choosing Doha as the Capital of Arab Culture for the year 2010. The Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage H E Dr Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari will be the chief guest in the festival. “The Ministry, as a principal sponsor, has offered lots of assistance to the Council,” said
“There would be a photo exhibition, maps, and books contributed by Arab trotters and travellers over a period of 2,000 years,” he added. He added that 14 participants would receive the Ibn Battuta Award, which has been granted to writers and translators since the year 2003. The award is sponsored by the UAE poet Mohammad Ahmad Al Suwaidi. It is divided into ﬁve sections, namely Manuscripts, Geographical Studies, Travel L i t e r at u r e , Contemporary Travel, Travel Press and Diaries. Award-winning researches will be made into books during the c o n fe r e n c e . In focus during the conference will be the Strait of Hormuz, trips across Arab beaches, the Portuguese invasion of some countries, the
British occupation of others, and the Ottoman presence in Arab countries.
Mohammed Atiq, the chairman of the Urdu Literature Publishing Council. Noted critic Mohammad Ali Siddiqui, who is the dean of the College of Administrative and Social Sciences at the Institute of Business Administration and Technology in the Pakistani city of Karachi, will preside over the celebration. The Indian poet Glazar Dahlawi - from Delhi - will also preside over the International Po e t r y Symposium. The prizes, which were ﬁrst launched in 1996, aim to promote the Urdu language and literature. They consist of golden Aegis and a ﬁnancial prize of 150,000 Rupees. This year’s prizes were announced by two separate committees, which were led by the Pakistani
poet Mushtaq Ahmad Khan Youseﬁ on 29 January, and Gobi Jund Nareng, the former president of the Academy of Sahitya (India’s National Academy of Letters) in New Delhi on 18 February. Around 24 poets, writers, and men of letters from India, Pakistan, and Canada are due to come here next week to take part in the celebration. The Indian poets Glazar Dahlawi, Munawar Rana, Majid Deobandi, Gorwendr Singh, Aazam Kohli, Gohar Kanburi, and Mohamed Taleb Khundmiri are among those who will attend the event alongside the Pakistani poets Amjad Islam Amjad, Ataa Al Haq Qasmi, Muhammad Aslam Kolsri, Anaam Al-Haq Javed, Azem Behzad, Ezamat Bulgrami, and Mirza Asssi Ekhtar.
UAE poet inspired by Qatari capital
United Arab Emirates poet said he was extremely pleased at the selection of Doha to be the Capital of Arab Culture, expressing admiration at the presence of diverse activities and cultural programmes in the city. Rashid Sharar said he had followed the cultural activities that were held in the Qatari capital during the ﬁrst quarter of 2010 and found them “diverse” and “serious”. “Qatar can also be the economic capital of the Arab world as well as the media capital thanks to the admiration it has won from the international community in these respects,” Sharar said. “The people of Qatar have thirst for knowledge and learning,” he added . He added that the Qatari capital offered poets with inspiration for much-needed poetic creativity and that the Gulf Radio Station left its mark on the mood of the visitors to the city. While in the Jordanian city of Zarqa, Sharar kept audiences glued to their seats when he read out his expressive poems and delightful verse. The Director of the Sharjah Centre for Popular Poetry, Sharar was the guest of honour at the “Saih Ziab” Festival in Zarqa.
He read out many of his poems, including the ‘Wall Of Silence’, the ‘Luter’, ‘Teach me Passion’, ‘The Nest and the Bird’, and an ‘Arrogant snob’. He also read out his wonderful poem ‘My Last Stop’, which reads: Your voice took me to another world/ Where dreams are built/ It brought you to my thoughts/ Woman, you are a true nymph/ Let my groans be heard to you. Sharar is an esteemed poet who is viewed as the one who brought popular poetry back on track. He said he was always keen on making the necessary renewal to poetry, while at the same time maintaining the power of diction. He invited Arab poets to reconsider the mission of poetry. He said metaphors that transcend the bounds of poetry needed also to be reconsidered.