By Ahmad Abdullah
JEDDAH — Souq Okaz, the prestigious event showcasing the culture and history of the Kingdom, would have economic activities alongside its myriad events. Moreover, new regulations have been put in place for the reputed Okaz Poet award.
These decisions were taken Monday at a meeting of the Supervisory Committee of Souq Okaz which was presided over by the Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Emir of Makkah region and Chairman of the committee.
The selection for the Okaz Poet award would have two basic standards: The poetic work should be modern in style and the number of poems produced by the contender.
Souq Okaz attracts local and regional attention because the winner gets the title of Okaz Poet in addition to Okaz Shield for the year 1433H and a financial award of SR300,000. The winner also gets an invitation to attend Souq Okaz and recite his poem at the inaugural ceremony.
The committee also approved the inclusion of an economic activity in Souq Okaz’ programs as was promised by Prince Khaled last year. The chambers of commerce and industry of Jeddah, Makkah and Taif have been tasked with preparing the final study in this regard.
Souq Okaz has chosen Antara Bin Shadad to be the topic of the play that will be presented during the closing ceremony. Souq Okaz will also offer this year a complete program with literary, cultural, scientific and heritage segments which reflect the vision and goals of the event.
Saudi and Arab intellectuals, poets and thinkers will participate in the event which will include a wide range of various activities as well as social and cultural activities Souq Okaz is synonymous with.
In addition to Okaz Poet award, there is a SR100,000 award for young Saudi poets to encourage them to compete with each other and write poems in classic Arabic containing good ideas.
There is also a SR100,000 award for scientific creativity to be given for creative research or for a patent for an invention serving humanity.
This year’s award will be in the field of nano technology and the winner will be selected by a panel of renowned scientists.