French mission holds its first poetry night


Saudi Gazette

— The French Consulate General held a poetry night with groups of Saudi and French poets regaling a goodly crowd at Consul General Patrick Nicoloso’s residence here on Saturday.

In a thematic setting to set the mood for the evening, the event was held inside a traditional Saudi tent to stress on the intercultural meeting of minds and the Saudi and French cultures.

Many Saudi poets, journalists, professors has responded to the consul general’s invitation and enriched the poetry evening with both the sides presenting some throught-provoking works.

Saudi poets reciitng in Arabic, read some of their poems while French poets too reciprocated with some their poems in French. Following the readings, there was a harmonious display of words read to music with classical French poetries and music speaking in one voice to showcase the beauty of the combination of music and poems.

This first Poetry Night here was held as part of the Night of Poetry in Paris, organized by Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) of Paris. This initiative, to hold poetry night, began in 2016 in memory of the Paris attacks of Nov. 13, 2015 in order to show that the Arab world believes in peace, arts and culture. Different French embassies around the globe celebrate this night.

The French attache for cultural cooperation Karim Maatoug said: “We decided to show the beauty of Saudi poetry and Arabic language and highlight the bridge between the Saudi and the French cultures. We are very proud to host the Saudi and French poets inside Saudi Arabia — the country of arts and humanity.

French expat Stephanie Berroche, who lives in Jeddah, expressed her pleasure on attending the event and said: “I think Arabic language is very musical to our ears. We should have more events like this here, for there is a good value in poetry and it connects us with other cultures. I loved the event, and it has induced in me a yearning to learn Arabic after hearig the Arabic poems, which were very emotive. I understood the mood but not the language.”