Moroccan Omar Raji Takes 5th Place at UAE ‘Prince of Poets’ Competition


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Rabat – Moroccan poet Omar Raji came in fifth on Tuesday at the ninth annual Prince of Poets competition in Abu Dhabi.

The poems that Omar Raji competed with deal with themes of modernity, humanity, and heritage. His works captivated the jury and the audience.

Raji considers poetry a passion based on “the love of glamorous images, metaphors and the graceful Arabic language,” he told Morocco’s state media.

The Moroccan poet who is an executive at the Ministry of Economy said, “The passion for art, any art, the environment of work and studies cannot resist this spiritual dependence that dominates the body of the creator. In fact, there is absolutely no contradiction between academic economic specialization and creative writing.”

“The mastery of realistic fields of knowledge enriches the text, educates it and gives its author a wider horizon of poetic creation,” he added.

Along with Omar Raji, five poets from different Arab countries made it to the Prince of Poets final: Sultan Al-Dait, Zainab Jabbar, Muhammad al-Mami, Khalaf Abu Diwan, and Hawraa al-Hamili.

Twenty poets in total participated in the ninth annual Prince of Poets competition.

In the eighth annual Prince of Poets competition, another Moroccan poet reached the final. Khouloud Bennaser was one of 20 poets chosen from hundreds of participants.

For the young Moroccan poet, Bennaser, poetry is a beautiful space—an escape that helps her live gracefully.

The Moroccan poet took first place in the competition’s preliminary round, putting her in the top four. She entered the competition with a poem titled “Ballerina.” In the final, she faced Ibtihal Mustafa from Sudan, Hani Abdeljawad from Jordan, and Abdelmounim Hassan from Mali.

In 2007, the Abu Dhabi Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee hosted the first Prince of Poets gathering. The competition is named after popular Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawqi’s nickname.