First Published: 2010-03-05

Million’s Poet enters semifinals

Saudi poetess criticizes Fatwas in powerful poem, but fails to qualify to the final.


Middle East Online

Hisa will have to wait for the public vote results

ABU DHABI - In a harsh criticism for the uncontrolled Fatwas in the Islamic world, a female Saudi poet delivered a powerful poem on the semifinals phase of Arab world’s biggest poetry TV competition “Million’s Poet”.

Poetess Hisa Helal known also as “Remia” stood before the jury with three other poets, last Wednesday at Al Raha Beach Theater where the show is being broadcast live on Abu Dhabi TV.

Fatwa in Islam is a religious ruling, a scholarly opinion on a matter of Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar known as Mufti. More recently, Fatwas were misused by some Mufties dealing with modern lifestyle in different parts of the Islamic world.

Though the jury liked the poem and congratulated the poetess for being brave to touch on such a controversial issue, Hisa did not go through to the final phase of the competition and has to wait till next week with the other two poets for the public vote results.

The panel qualified poet Mohammed bin Ali Al Saeed from Saudi Arabia by giving him 47 points out of 50.

Poets in the third phase of the competition are required to deliver a poem on any subject they like and then improvise a short poem in three minutes about a subject picked by the jury.

In the next episode of the competition, another four poets will stand before the jury to prove their poetical abilities.

The Millions’ Poet project was launched in 2006 under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The show, sponsored and produced by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, presents 48 poets, carefully selected by a panel of experts on Nabati poetry (dialect poetry), from thousands of applicants after a six-week tour of the Arabian Gulf countries with contestants from all over the Arab world. The poets will battle it out, seeking to impress the jury and the audience with their poetic skills, in the hope of making it through to the grand final.

Contestants are judged using a mixture of jury votes, live audience votes via the in-theatre voting pods and SMS voting throughout the weeks. The Millions’ Poet who wins first place will receive an increased grand prize of 5 million AED ($1,362,000), second place will be awarded 4 million AED ($ 1,090,000), third place 3 million AED ($ 817,000), fourth place 2 million AED ($ 545,000) and fifth place 1 million AED ($ 272,000). The prize money for all contestants, at the behest of HH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will total 22 million AED (more than $ 4 million).


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