Al Owais Cultural Foundation to Host “Habib Al Sayegh: A Journey of Modernization and Innovation” Virtual Symposium

Al Owais Cultural Foundation to Host “Habib Al Sayegh: A Journey of Modernization and Innovation” Virtual Symposium

The Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation will be hosting a a virtual symposium on late poet Habib Al Sayegh, under the title of “Habib Al Sayegh: A Journey of Modernization and Innovation. The event will be held at 7pm on Wednesday and Thursday, September 16 &17, 2020, via Zoom online platform and the sessions will be broadcasted through the Foundation’s page on Facebook.

The symposium will see the participation of a constellation of poets, critics, writers and intellectuals who will present research papers, testimonials and give a reading of excerpts from the poetry of late poet Habib Al Sayegh in commemoration of the first anniversary of his departure (August 20th, 2020). Moreover, the event will include a film screening of a documentary titled, “A Zest for Poetry and Life, which will shed light on the late poet’s career in the fields of poetry and media.

The symposium, which will kick off on Wednesday, September 16th, 2020, will be inaugurated by HE Sulaiman Mousa Al Jassim, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation, who will deliver the opening speech, which will be followed by a screening of a documentary on the late poet Habib Al Sayegh before the sessions of the symposium kick off. Contributors to the symposium include: Dr. Mariam Al Hashemi, who will present a research paper titled “The Creation of the Poetic Self for Habib Al Sayegh”; Sameh Ka’wash, who will read his research paper titled, “Elegizing Places and Enriching Visions: The Dialectic of Being and Setting in the Writings of Habib Al Sayegh” and Dr. Mohamed Abdul Qader, who will read a paper entitled “Consuming the Future, Habib Al Sayegh’s Double Alienation”. Moreover, at the end of the first day of the symposium Mr. Saeed Al Saqlawi will give a personal testimonial in memory of the late poet. Sessions of day one of the symposium will be moderated by Mr. Ibrahim Al Hashemi.

Meanwhile, the second day of the symposium (Thursday, September 17, 2020) will commence with a session featuring Dr. Samar Rohy Al Faisal, who will present a paper entitled “Prose by Al Sayegh: A Reading of Habib Al Sayegh’s Articles”, and will be followed by Dr. Khalifa Yassin Bin Arabi, who will read a paper titled, “The Duality of Self and Place in the Poetry of Habib Al Sayegh: A Reading of Al Sayegh’s ‘Poems on Bahrain’” and Mr. Ahmed Al Shahawy, who will read a paper titled, “Habib Al Sayegh: A Poet’s Biography as Seen in His Poetic Texts”. Next, a testimonial by Mr. Youssef Abou Loux will follow. The symposium will conclude with a reading of excerpts from Al Sayegh’s poetry by Mr. Mohammed Nour. Sessions of day two of the symposium will be moderated by Dr. Barwin Habib.

Moreover, the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation has also produced a 5-minute documentary about late poet Habib Al Sayegh (1955-2019), which sheds light on Al Sayegh’s professional career and poetic experience and highlights key events in his life’s journey and touches upon his most prominent publications.

In commemoration of the first anniversary of Al Sayegh’s departure, the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation has also released a new publication within its “Winners” book series, titled “Wardat Al Kuhoola” (The Flower of Elderliness), which is a poetry collection by late poet Habib Al Sayegh (1955-2019). The release of the new book fulfills one of the traditions the Al Owais Foundation has followed for many year; which is publishing one book by each of the winners of its cultural award.

The release of this important book by Habib Al Sayegh has coincided with the first anniversary of his departure at the age of 64. “The Flower of Elderliness” is considered one of the poetry collection most cherished by Al Sayegh’s. It is worth mentioning that over the years the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation has published tens of prominent books by the winners of Al Owais Cultural Award.

It is worth mentioning that late poet Habib Al Sayegh had won Al Owais Cultural Award in the “Poetry” category in the 14th session (2014-2015). The Award’s jury committee stated the following:

“The committee has decided to grant the Award to poet Habib Al Sayegh as he is one of the pioneers of poetic modernism in the gulf region and in recognition of his efforts in transforming the form, rhythm and content of the Arabic poem in its three formats amudi (classical column form), taf’ila (metric/free verse poetry) and Nathr (prose poem). His poetry reflect the worries and concerns of the Arab individual, which he succeeds in carrying forth from the local to the universal.”

Poet Habib Al Sayegh was born in 1955 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in 1977 and obtained a Master’s degree in Comparative Linguistics and Translation from the University of London. He published his writings at an early age and participated in tens of Arab and international conferences and symposiums and his poetry was translated into a number of languages including, English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Chinese.