First Published: 2009-02-01

 
Saudi female poetess resists pressure to quit
 

Millions' Poet TV show paves the way for women's empowerment in the Arab world.

 

Middle East Online

I got the power



ABU DHABI - Recent media attention has surrounded female poetess Aydah Al Aarawi Al Jahani, who competed for the second time last week and who is the first poetess to make it this far in the Millions' poet TV show on Abu Dhabi TV.

Al Jahani has received mounting pressure from family and tribe members, in Saudi Arabia, to resign from the competition due to the fact that she is female. The poetess who has competed fiercely alongside her fellow male competitors, has succeeded in avoiding elimination from the competition thanks to the Public's votes.

This week Al Jahani made it through to round three of the competition with 59% of the audience votes stating "I am very proud to be the first female poet to make it to this stage of the competition, I am now just afraid of loosing".

Despite the pressure from family and tribe members, Al Jihani is strongly supported by her husband who attends to watch her perform in the theatre along with millions of viewers around the world who have tuned in to watch her.

The 59% of the votes can be translated into millions of SMS votes received in favour of the poetess. Al Jihani is one of three female poets to compete in the competition with Siham Al Bayan Al Adwan and Haneen Al Samarneh Al Aajarma both from Jordan being eliminated in the first round of the competition.

Al Jihani's poems have so far concentrated on the struggles of women as poets and focuses on striving to empower her fellow female poets to succeed in becoming the best they can be in an art form dominated by men.

Al Jihani will now compete against 11 other poets in round three beginning 19th February as she moves one step closer to becoming the first female Millions' Poet. The past two winners of season 1 and 2, Mohamed bin Fteis and Khalil Al Tamimi Al Shibrimi, have both been from Qatar winning 1 million Dirhams each, however this season the stakes have risen as well as the prize money with first prize now being raised to 5 million Dirhams (approximately $1.3 million).

Al Jihani has become a role model for women all over the region with her strength and motivation to continue in the competition and program makers expect this to encourage more women to audition for next season's show.

Nashwa Al Ruwaini, the show's Executive Producer and also a well-known media personality in the Middle East quoted, "I am very proud of Aydah and hopes she continues in the competition and doesn't throw in the towel before her time. She is a true example to women all over the region proving that women too have their place in the arts and should endeavor to overcome the obstacles they face in life against their gender."

There are currently 6 weeks left of the competition being broadcast live on Abu Dhabi TV every Thursday night at 22:30, and viewers can attend the live show at Al Raha Beach Theatre in Abu Dhabi for free each week.

The Millions' Poet TV show was launched by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and is produced by Pyramedia, and has grown to become one of the highest rated TV shows in the region with millions of viewers tuning in each week.

Its aim has been to bring the region's youth back to its roots by taking the traditions of the Bedouins from the Gulf into the 21st Century by fusing an ancient heritage with modern media tools. This season's live competition sees 48 poets battle it out through various stages to impress their audiences with their poetry and win the prestigious title of the 'Millions' Poet'.

Viewers can see what the poets get up to during the week by tuning into the recap show to watch behind the scenes footage and interviews on Monday at 19:00 on Abu Dhabi TV.

Repeats of the show and also extra exclusive behind the scenes footage can also be viewed around the clock on the dedicated Million's Poet Channel.

 

Syrian regime confident of Aleppo victory

Dozens of civilians killed in Iraq air strike

Israel votes to approve settler homes bill

Egypt’s 'three-year strategy' seeks to revive struggling economy

Qatar to invest up to $13bn on 'mega projects' in 2017

Two Hamas militants killed in Gaza tunnel collapse

Libya's key oil region threatened by renewed fighting

Syria rebels call for Aleppo ceasefire

Rebel rockets scar west Aleppo residents

Egypt jails prominent NGO activist

Turkish soldier killed in Syria bomb blast

IS-linked group ousted from Somalia town

Kerry, Lavrov to resume Syria talks Wednesday

Iraqis swarm to remarry after liberation from ‘caliphate’

Four drown, 34 rescued off Morocco coast

Israel to vote on bill to legalise West Bank settlements

Turkish businessmen embrace Erdogan’s plan to boost lira

Battle for Mosul advances deeper into city

Iran to sign deal with Shell in bid to boost output

Israeli missiles strike targets outside Damascus

Over 40 people missing after ship sinks off Yemen

Hollande condemns Russia’s ‘systematic obstruction’ of Syria ceasefire

Turkey doing 'everything possible' to push Syria talks between Russia, opposition

Britain wants ‘strategic partnership’ with GCC

Russia army colonel dies after Aleppo rebel shelling

Syria forces take control of Aleppo Old City

Libyan forces hunt remaining jihadists in Sirte

Iraqi jailed in Sweden for war crimes after Facebook post

Regime forces seize five Aleppo districts from rebels

Israeli artist erects golden Netanyahu statue in protest

Russia says US stalling on Aleppo rebel pullout

Saudi sentences 15 to death for being Iranian spies

US defence secretary says Mosul battle could end before Trump

US, NATO stress 'unity' as Trump raises doubts

Greece to extradite three Turkish coup officers

Egypt arrests 25 human organ traffickers

Morocco PM statement on Russia’s ‘destructive’ role in Syria angers Moscow

Israel far right hails bill to 'legalise' settler homes

Merkel says Aleppo situation ‘disgrace’

Iranian president says sanctions renewal proves US still ‘enemy’

Yemen arrests eight IS suspects in Aden

Turkey arrests opposition advisor over alleged Gulen links

Russia says OPEC, non-OPEC countries to meet in Vienna

British PM joins GCC summit for trade talks

Israel government nears deal that could 'legalise' settler homes