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Friday, 12 December 2008

The Lucrative Million's Poet Reality Show in Abu Dhabi Starts Tonight

Caption: Bedouin Tribe Leader
December 13, 2008

by Suzan Abrams

My God! Here is poetry conceived to global commercialisation and popularity that only the UAE would dare attempt with its glamorous over-the-top flamboyance and big money talk. :-)

In the biggest reality show on Abu Dhabi TV that for poets on the Arabian Gulf, runs with the same degree of fame as American Idol, the third edition of the Million's Poet will be broadcast live tonight from the AlRaha Beach Theatre in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi is currently the richest city in the world with no obvious money problems.

How it works is that the reality show/poetry competition draws on an ancient form of Bedouin poetic art, once common in Arabia and part of the tribe's daily life. Many of the younger generation from Bedouin families eagerly take part where the stakes are high indeed.

In the first episode tonight, 48 *Nabati poets will be chosen by audiences from the 100 already selected last week by a judging committee. The committee had initially met 16,000 poets in Kuwait, Riyadh, Jeddah, Amman and Abu Dhabi.

Over the next six weeks, eight different poets will compete to get through, into the second round. The live competition is to be aired over Abu Dhabi Television and The Million's Poet Channel at 10.30pm every Tuesday.

The first prize is Dh5million where the winner will also display the flag and title of the competition. The second prize winner is to be awarded Dh4 million, the third prize winner Dh3 million, the fourth Dh2 million and the fifth winner Dh1 million. Plus, all 48 poets are to receive cash prizes totalling Dh22 million.

Million's Poet is being organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. It commands the support of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Further Reading:

A valuable introduction to
Nabati Poetry from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum which may include the spontanous narration of riddles, philosophy, epics and proverbs.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Webshots.com