'Journey of poetic adventure'

Basra’s Al-Marbad festival to feature 380 poets and writers

BASRA – Arif Al-Saadi, cultural advisor to the prime minister, has announced that the forthcoming Al-Marbad Festival will feature 380 poets and writers from Arab countries and Iraq, including expatriates and participants from other cities.

Scheduled to take place in Basra, the festival will host over fifty Arab cultural figures, thirty Iraqi expatriates, and more than 300 guests from various cities. “For the first time, the festival will span four days beginning Feb. 7, encompassing eight official sessions and daily discussions on critical and research topics. These discussions will focus on Ahmed Matar’s work, the prose poem experience, and the interaction between intellectuals and authority,” Al-Saadi informed 964media.

He further stated, “The prime minister’s office, with substantial backing from the Basra governor[ship] and the oil minister, sponsors the event. The Basra Ports Authority and the Culture Ministry are also key organizers. The committees for printing, reception, logistics, and accommodations consist entirely of Basra writers.”

Iranian poet Hussein Taha Al-Tarfi described his participation as a “journey of poetic adventure” alongside a distinguished roster of Iraqi and Arab poets. “Performing at Al-Marbad offers a unique emotional experience, one that is not encountered annually,” he remarked, underscoring Basra’s unique hospitality.

Furat Saleh, president of the Basra Writers’ Union, noted that the organizing committee collaborated with the union’s central office to extend invitations to numerous national writers for the festival.

The festival’s opening night will feature a film screening, an art exhibition, a musical operetta, a children’s orchestra performance, and concerts. Performers include artist Karim Mansour, composer Jafar Al-Khafaf, Arajeeen for Maqam, vocalist Baidar Al-Basri, and the Al-Khashaba group for Saadi Al-Yabis.

Adnan Al-Fadhli, Deputy Head of the Media Committee, expressed confidence, stating, “This edition of the Al-Marbad Festival is set to exceed all prior ones, offering a global platform that will leave Arab attendees and participants in awe.”