“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” These are the famous words by the English Romantic era poet William Wordsworth.
One of the best expressions of emotions and feelings comes in the form of poetry, which uses words in a rhythm to express a sublime thought in a given language. Urdu is known for its poetic expressions, and there have been a number of Urdu poets who made their mark in world literature for their skill and originality in thought.
Qatar has always been a hub where Urdu literary activities have consistently been organised by expatriates who speak and understand the language. There are numerous annual and monthly poetic sessions that are organised by Urdu speaking expatriates.
Keeping in mind the interest of people in Urdu poetry, Embassy of Pakistan in Qatar is going to organise an online Urdu poetry competition for the Pakistanis in collaboration with Diwan AlArab (Qatar Poetry Center). According to the information available on the website of the embassy, poets interested in the competition can send in their creative pieces from March 1 to 10. The winner will be announced in Doha on March 21 coinciding with World Poetry Day. The winner will be awarded QR10,000 in cash.
The topic for the competition is a line from the famous couplet of Dr Muhammad Iqbal, national poet of Pakistan, which is: “Jahan Hai Tere Liye, Tu Nahin Jahan Ke Liye” (Universe is for your [human beings], you are not for the universe). The participants can upload their poetry on the official Instagram of Diwan alArab – diwanalarab_qa
As per the terms and conditions of the contest shared by the Pakistani embassy on its website, the organisers will not accept plagiarism or use of poetic expression of other poets. The poetry and the details of the participants such as the poet’s name, city name, national identity number, and phone number should be written in legible way at the end of the poetry.
The competition that is meant only for the residents of Pakistan and Pakistanis living in Qatar asks the participants to share minimum four and maximum five couplets. One poet can share only one poem or one ghazal. The organiser will exclude the poetry containing religious, political, unethical subjects or words. A panel of highly reputed Urdu poets will judge the competition and their decision will be final.
In a video message, Syed Ahsan Raza Shah, Ambassador of Pakistan to Qatar, invited all those who are interested in Urdu poetry to take part in the competition. He said: “I am very pleased to announce that the embassy in collaboration with Diwan AlArab, Ministry of Culture and Sports is going to organise an online Urdu poetry competition. We have shared the rules and regulations for the competition on the embassy’s website, Facebook and Twitter account. The poetry will be examined by the panel of distinguished Urdu poets. I will urge on all interested people to take up a pen and test their creative skills.”
The Qatar Poetry Center works to promote literary mobility regarding poetry, its templates, and its methods, launching it in a free creative space according to standards that take into account the literary heritage of the Qatari society and its cultural depth and to create the right climate for the Qatari poet and contribute to the development of his or her capabilities.
Commenting on the announcement of the competition, Mohamed Atiq, Chairman Majlis-e-Frogh-e-Urdu Adab Qatar (MFUA), congratulated the embassy and appreciated the ambassador for taking the initiative. MFUA has regularly been organising a large annual Urdu mushaira in Doha for 25 years.
Atiq, a long time Qatar resident, said: “Urdu is not only the national but also the official language of Pakistan. Promotion of Urdu poetry and language means promotion of Pakistani culture and traditions. The competition will urge the creative Pakistani writers to express themselves on the interesting subject.
“I congratulate Ambassador Syed Ahsan Raza Shah for taking the step and hope that competition will become a regular feature to promote and appreciate Urdu poets.”
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