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Establishment of Poetry Houses (Bait Al-sheir) in Mafraq

The initiative of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to establish 1000 poetry houses in the Arab world is in the process of implementation and application. His Highness has given his directives to support, encourage and honour Arab poets in their home countries, and to provide all the necessary systems to upgrade original Arab poetry, both Nabataean and Faseeh.

His Highness’s directive was to establish such Arab poetry houses as part of the general framework of the Sharjah cultural project. Today, after more than three decades of work, production and accumulation, we witness the Arab and international branches of the project emerging from Sharjah, with a new administrative, productive and intellectual structure organized by the Department of Culture and Information of Sharjah.

A poetry house was opened in the city of Mafraq, in the Northern Eastern part of Jordan. There is already a poetry house in the Jordanian capital Amman. However, the poetry house in Al Mafraq meets the need of poets, intellectuals and writers, as this vast province is known for its abundance of Nabati poets in general, and folklore poets in particular. Activities at this house began with a performance by two Jordanian poets, in addition to the cultural events and literary festival to be arranged next month.

It is vital to cite the importance of establishing a poetry house in a relatively remote area from the capital, Amman, where cultural events take place throughout the year. The Mafraq poetry house will revive local intellectuals there and lead to them enriching the Jordanian and Arab cultural movement with their creative poetic production. Many of the Arab poets residing in the cities, villages and rural areas of remote Arab towns live in the shadow or on the margins of cultural life. Some, if not most, of these rural areas need cultural centres equipped with halls suitable for cultural activities and to facilitate the organizing of cultural forums and festivals.

The 1000 Poetry Houses Project in the Arab world was born in Sharjah at the last Arab Poetry Festival. Arab poets were the first to welcome it in their renewed cultural capital of Sharjah.

Source: Khaleej newspaper, Yosif  Obuluz.