Oman's poet Aisha al Saifi became the first woman and Omani to win the "Prince of Poets" title in Abu Dhabi.


Aisha wrote on her Instagram, “On International Women's Day, I was crowned a prince of poets and draped in the cloak of poetry, as the first Arab woman to obtain the title, thanks to God, and your support for me by voting and praying.”


She has participated in Arab and international literary festivals across Asia, Europe, and Africa, and was the first female poet to win the Omani Poetry Festival.


She has published three poetry collections, “The Sea Changes its Gown,” “The Dreams of the Tenth Girl,” and “I Don’t Love My Father.” The Prince of Poets is a reality television poetry competition in Abu Dhabi.


The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage launched the completion in April 2007.


The winner is awarded 1 million UAE dirhams (RO 100,000) and a symbolic cloak and ring.


According to the rules of the programme, poems entered in the competition should be traditional, which have been celebrated since ancient times, or modern poetry, known as free poetry. The programme draws contestants from the GCC and the Arab world.


Aisha al Saifi was born in Nizwa, Oman in 1987. She studied Civil Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University. In 2005, she began publishing literary works in Omani and Arabic newspapers.


She is the author of three collections of poetry, including The Sea Changes its Gown. She was the first female poet to win the Omani Poetry Festival.


Aisha competed with Ibrahim Toure from Senegal, Abdel Wahed Brok from Morocco, Abdullah al Anzi from Saudi Arabia, Najat al Dhaheri from UAE, and Mohammad Mahasneh from Jordan, win the title.


Reflecting the pre-eminence of poetry in the Arab world, the programme’s ratings overtook those of football and of other reality television programmes, with a studio audience of thousands and a television audience of millions. Its title comes from the epithet of Arabic-language epic poet Ahmed Shawqi.


Thousands of aspiring poets from all over the Arab world submit their poems, and several dozen are chosen to compete. In the competition, contestants read their poems, and are also asked to improvise poems on various subjects. A jury of established poets and critics judges and offers feedback on the entries, while the studio audience and viewers at home can also vote for their preferred poets. Despite the show’s title, the contestants can be male or female.


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