‘Al-Arabi’ Forum Proclaims Arabic Cultural Renaissance

The Twelfth 'Al-Arabi' forum announcement: Peninsula and the Arabic Gulf: Half Century of Cultural Renaissance

The annual ‘Al-Arabi’ forum, a hub of Arabic culture, will be held from Mar. 4 to 6 in Kuwait. In a press conference, Dr. Sulieman Al-Askri, Editor-in-Chief for Al Arabi magazine announced the events of the 12th Al-Arabi Forum hosted by Al-Arabi magazine under the general theme of ‘Peninsula and the Arabic Gulf: Half Century of Cultural Renaissance.’

Dr Sulieman went through the headlines that previous Arabi forums dealt with ever since being held annually at 2001, which showed the importance of intellectual events amongst the other events.

On choosing the topic, Dr Sulieman said that during the last five years he noticed things in Arabi magazine, the topics we receive and the variety in the cultural atmosphere in the Gulf area and the Arabic world, whether by novels written by gulf writers who were recognized by other Arab writers, it showed their unique new styles in introducing topics that many wouldn’t dare to talk about, these works are now able to compete and achieve Arabic and international prizes.

Al-Askri said, “in “Al Arabi” we used to have a lot of poetry books come to us written by poets from all over the region from different generations, it showed the change that the gulf poem managed to achieve which in the end represent the modern Arabic poetry. We also noticed new works of cinema done by gulf artists from Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman, it showed that there’s an entire generation devoted to expressing this regions’ problems cinematically. Also, there has been so much effort done in the fields of theatre and drama, and from time to time there would be a work that would get the Arab’s attention. Example of that, is the works of Sulieman Al-Bassam in Kuwait, who managed to cross all boundaries and find audiences over the sea. For all these reasons we found that its suitable now to shed light on the cultural renaissance that occurred in the Arabic Peninsula over half a century. Where many generations would connect here in Kuwait under the sponsorship of his Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Gaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hammad Al-Sabah, and The minister of Information His Highness Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Hammod Al-Sabah would attend on his behalf”

Al-Askri said that the main goal of this conference is to shed the lights on the characteristics of this renaissance and provide historical and critical points of views, and to introduce people of this region whether artists, writer, or ordinary audience to these experiments and have some kind of communication between them. In the same time we introduce these achievements to the rest of the Arabic world, so that “Al Arabi” magazine would become a bridge between this cultural renaissance and audience in the Arabic world. Especially since the achievements of culture in the gulf area, is considered part of the Arabic achievements.

Al-Arabi tries through this forum to make space for all kinds of literature and arts, through ten sessions, more than a session are dedicated to discussing narrative issues in modern gulf novels, also celebrating the works Abdul Rahman Al-Manief, whose works are celebrated nationally and in the Arabic world too. There’s also a dialogues session for the Kuwaiti writer Ismail Fahd Ismail, where he speaks of his experience, through an interview run by a young writer, Saud Al-Sanousi, who garnered a lot of attention with his novel “The Bamboo Stick” and managed to reach the Poker’s shortlist, he would also be one of the writers who would talk about their writing experience along with other young writers.

We also dedicated a session for Gulf cinema includes many topics such as, Bassam Al-Nawadi from Bahrain talking about Bahraini cinema, Bashar Ibrahim talking about Emirates cinema, also others like Abdullah Al-Mkhial, Waleed Al-Awdi from Kuwait, Nawaf Al-Gunahy from Emirate, Aibi Ibrahom from Yemen, would all talk about their works in cinema. Also a short documentary called “The Arabic Desert” made by the Kuwaiti director Abdullah Al-Mkhial, would be shown on Monday, 4 March.

Also artists like Abdullah Al-Sadhan from Saudi Arabia and Saad Al-Farag from Kuwait would talk about their drama works, during a session about the drama in Gulf area. Also a number of Gulf writers and poets would be honored during the forum for their efforts in the cultural renaissance in the region.

These are the main events for the twelfth forum, which we hope would be a good chance to discuss all cultural issues in the Arabic peninsula, and we hope it’d be a chance to get more recognition and care given to our young innovators in the gulf area, whether from the governments or other institutions, as they are the true treasure of our countries.


Also Ashraf Aboul-Yazid, “Al Arabi” magazine editor, and one of the main coordinators of the forum: “Al Arabi” started in its forum of last year a good event which is a poetry night held by Arabic poets who lived in exile, this year it’s trying show the huge variety in the gulf poetry through sessions about critical studies about this poetry in the old times an now, In addition to that, the poetry evening that would be held on Tuesday 5 March at 7 o’clock and half, which would include some gulf poets like: Qasem Haddad and Berwin Habib from Bahrain, Ali Al-Mari and Hoda Ablan from Yemen, Khloud Al-Mala from Emirates, and Sadia Mefreh and Ibrahim Al-Khaldi from Kuwait.

Ashraf Aboul-Yazid also talked about the cinema evenings where they would show a movie per night in Gallery Cinema in Salmia as chosen samples of Gulf cinema works, the three movies are: “Tora Bora” by Walid Al-Awdy from Kuwait, “The Barrier” by Bassam Al-Nawadi from Bahrain, and “Shadow of the Sea” by Nawaf Al-Genahy from Emirates.

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