Egyptian Min. call for cultural contribution to anti-terror effort
CAIRO: Egyptian Minister of Culture Abdulwahed Al-Nabawi on Saturday called on the intelligentsia around the world to contribute to the war against terrorism.
“The creative people, intellectuals and poets, from all nations and in all languages, should spearhead the combat against terrorists who pose threat to our existence,” the minister said in his inaugural address to the first Arabic Poetry Day festival.
The two-day event is being organized by the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and Al-Ahram Establishment.
“Poets play an important role in bringing up a generation of enlightened people who are able to add to civilization and promote the culture of peace,” Al-Nabawi said.
He pledged that his ministry would offer all possible support to the cultural projects and cultural movement in the Arab world.
In a similar speech to the gathering, Abdulaziz Al-Babtain, chairman of the Foundation of Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Prize for Poetic Creativity, thanked the organizers of the event for selecting him as a guest of honor.
Highlighting the importance of poetry as reflection of unique human experience, Al-Babtain extolled the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for proclaiming March 21 as World Poetry Day.
“The Foundation responded promptly to the UNESCO decision and made the Arabic Poetry Spring Festival a regular event on its annual agenda since 2008,” Al-Batain pointed out.
“The eighth edition of the festival will take place on March 20-31 in the State of Kuwait,” he said, noting that the poems of Rashed Al-Saif, of Kuwait, and Abdullah Al-Khalili, of Oman, will be the main them of the event.
Al-Babtain added that his Foundation, since its inception in 1989, has been working to promote poetic creativity and shedding light on the Arabic classical and contemporary poetry.
“The Foundation published over 450 poetic collections and a biographical dictionary that includes the names of Arab poets of the 19th and 20th centuries,” he pointed out.
Since 2000, the Foundation’s activities have exceeded poetry to include cultural issues such as dialogue with the other, he said, recalling the rounds of dialogue held in Tehran, Cordoba, Paris, Sarajevo, and the Brussels-based European Parliament.
At the end of the first day activities of the Arabic Poetry Day festival ALECSO awarded its shield to Al-Babtain in appreciation of his contribution to the Arabic culture and poetry.