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    In Observance of International Poetry Day: ICESCO Celebrates Perspectives of Women’s Poetry, and Launches Women Poets Forum

    1 April 2022

    The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) held a major international celebration, both at its headquarters and via videoconference, on Thursday (March 31, 2022), under the theme “Perspectives of Women’s Poetry.”| The event brought together creative women poets, some of whom have won the ICESCO Women’s Poetry Prize “Poem of the Year of Women 2021.” ICESCO also released the first edition of its collection (diwan) “Women’s Poetry Shining in Darkness (Hina Asrajna adayajira shi’ran)” and the launch of the ICESCO Women Poets Forum.

    ICESCO held this event to celebrate International Poetry Day and mark the close of ICESCO Year for Women 2021, which was honored by the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. The celebration saw the participation of high-level officials, diplomats and creative poets from the Islamic world.

    At the outset of the ceremony, the participants listened to a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran followed by the presentation by Ambassador Khaled Fathalrahman, Director of ICESCO Center for Civilizational Dialogue, wherein he welcomed the participants, noting that this celebration gathers a host of distinguished women poets to celebrate their achievements.

    In his address, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General, noted that the poem has always been a witness to history and peoples’ dreams, adding that the rhyme listens to our passion and the celebration the World Poetry Day is a universal celebration of the human civilization, which is based on tolerance, coexistence and peace. “This celebration shows our pride in poetry because we are a nation of poetry par excellence” he underscored.

    He reaffirmed that this celebration, marking the close of ICESCO Year for Women 2021 and the start of the Celebration of Rabat, Culture Capital in the Islamic World for 2022, is part of our effort for a brighter future and a sign that poetry will always remain a source of hope, optimism and brilliance.

    At the close of his address, ICESCO Director-General announced the launch of the ICESCO Women Poets Forum as a new space for creativity. The participants then watched a video featuring Dr. AlMalik’s poem “Im’a Fi Yawm Achi’r (Gesture in the Day of Poetry)”, read out by Majdouline Bencherif, as well as another video of Ambassador Fathalrahman’s poem “Sawtuha Wa Zaman (Women’s Poetry Throughout History).”

    During the opening session, the Lebanese poet, Nada El Hage, read some of the poems from her collection ‘Aber Adahcha’, commending ICESCO’s Celebration and highlighting her love for the Kingdom of Morocco and the spiritual connection she has with this country.

    After that, ICESCO Director-General awarded ICESCO Prize for Women’s Poetry along with certificates of appreciation to the three winners, namely Hajar Muhammad Omar from the Republic of Egypt, Sherihan Al-Tayeb Kalbash Daleel from the Republic of The Sudan, and Laila Naji Ali Al-Omari from the Republic of Yemen. ICESCO also revealed the first release of its collection “Women’s Poetry Shining in Darkness (Hina Asrajna adayajira shi’ran),” which includes the distinguished poems that participated in the competition.

    During the first session, the first and second winners, Hajar Omar and Sherihan Al-Tayeb Kalbash Daleel recited their respective winning poems “Hya Saydatu al-Ard (Lady of Earth)” and “Mir’at Lavinus.”

    Afterward, ICESCO honored the Moroccan poet Fatima Bouhraka, who expressed her happiness and dedicated her second book, which is part of her series, entitled “Encyclopedia of Contemporary Arab Women’s Poetry between 1950 and 2020” to ICESCO.

    In the following sessions, the participants enjoyed listening to the distinguished poems of the ICESCO Women’s Poetry Competition, in rhythm with the music.

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