The opening ceremony of the Prophet's Poet award held with the participation of 30 finalists at the Opera House in which jury panel will at the final stage select five poets to be selected for awards over the course of the festival's five days.
The General Manager of the Cultural Village Foundation, Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim al Sulaiti affirmed that organising committee is striving to present the Prophet's Poet Festival with the appropriate level of esteem. This respect is warranted as the festival is perceived as the biggest Islamic and cultural event in the Arab World.
Katara General Manager said: "The festival seeks to encourage people to preserve poetry as it helps to instill Islamic values in the minds of many, preserving heritage across generations. Poetry may also be utilised to exhibit the peaceful message of Islam whilst defending it against the vicious calls of those adamant to distort the true image of the religion. Furthermore, the festival aims to create a profound love for the Prophet Muhammed amongst the youth who are surrounded with ideologies which seek to divide them from the right path. Poetry has long had a strong impact on the youth and their emotions. Therefore, another aim of this festival is to sharpen the talents of the youth and walk them through this process by using their poetry for the service of Islam."
The ceremony held with the presence of the poet Dr. Abdulrahman Ashmawi, Nasheed artist, Ahmad Abdulhakim al saddi and guest of honor Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al Araifi.
On the sideline of festival, a number of events were organized including exhibition of the Arab Calligraphy that includes 50 paintings that comprising Quranic verses that highlight the good deeds of prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). "Complementing the Messenger Exhibition" by poets across all ages is also organized during the event.
In addition, the festival also includes Playoff seminars amongst 30 poets, lessons about the love of Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him, for five days after Maghrib prayers, prophet, the human lectures, for three days after Aser prayers.
A section of the festival, titled "Towards the Love of Prophet Muhammed" includes a number of competitions and activities for those in attendance.
Participating Poems were submitted across the Arab World and beyond, with poems originating from Oman to North Africa. Most participants hailed from Iraq and the wider Levant region, as 250 poems were submitted from these nations, while Egypt and Sudan joined the effort with 236 poems. The remaining North African Arab states provided 184 poems, 145 poems came from the GCC and Yemen, while 13 poems arrived from non-Arab states. Of the submissions 60 were contributed by women.
Katara has dedicated a number of distinct awards which reflect the significance of the event, first place, USD 300,000, second place: USD 200,000, third place: USD 100,000, fourth place: USD 50,000 and USD 25,000 for the fifth place.