Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), announced the launching of the ICESCO Women Poets Forum in March 2022 during ICESCO’s International Celebration in observance of the World Poetry Day, held its first activities by presenting the experiences of three women poets from Syria and Iraq.
ICESCO Women Poets Forum, headed by Ms. Rawda Al-Hajj, aims to introduce women poets and their biographies and creative productions, connect the generations of women poets, shed light on various experiences, establish linkages and promote exchange between women poets from different Muslim countries. The Forum’s activities include the presentation of the experiences of three women poets. The first meeting, held via videoconference, featured the experiences of the poet Ibaa Al-Khatib and the poet Israa Abdel Karim, from the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the poet Israa Akrawi, from the Republic of Iraq. The meeting was moderated by the poet Dr. Khadija Al-Saidi, from the Kingdom of Morocco.
The Forum, which is a new comprehensive and literary space for creativity, currently includes more than 200 women poets. It endeavors to attract the largest number of women poets from the Islamic world through membership forms. It is also preparing the first volume of its quarterly journal “Shawa’ir” and twenty poem collections. The first conference of the ICESCO Women Poets Forum, which will bear the name of one of the leading women poets, will be organized in one of the ICESCO Member States.
The launch of this Forum marked the close of ICESCO Year for Women 2021 stressing the Organization’s sustained support for women in all fields. ICESCO Year for Women witnessed the implementation of a large number of programmes, activities and competitions, including the ICESCO Prize for Women’s Poetry: “Poem of the Year of Women 2021,” which was awarded to three women poets from Egypt, The Sudan and Yemen, and the publication of a poetry collection that includes the most prominent poems participating in the competition under the title: “Women’s Poetry Shining in Darkness (Hina Asrajna adayajira shi’ran).”