Poetic Heart: Connecting Humanity (The Event 2012)

Poetic Heart: Connecting Humanity (The Event 2012)

16th February 2012, Dubai Knowledge Village, UAE

Poetic Heart: Connecting Humanity, a poetry symposium which was SGI-Gulf’s cherished vision to earnestly reach out to the local Arab society was held today, 16th February 2012 at the Dubai Knowledge Village Auditorium. It was the day when all the planning, efforts and prayers came to a grand fruition. It was a true testimony to the fact that the sincerest of thoughts and labour of work are realised as perfect real life cinema with emotions of immense joy, appreciation and gratitude.

The dawn of the meticulously planned poetry recitation session was a sunny and pleasant one with the SGI volunteers reporting enthusiastically at their respective duties prior to the event. The proceedings began at sharp 10:30 AM with the two hosts, Kamal Mathur and Rebecca Lockwood warmly welcoming the audience.

The Welcome Address

Thereafter, Rakesh Tharoor, General Director, SGI-Gulf shared SGI’s vision and mission. He stated that to nurture a poetic spirit is to nurture hope and that; words can cast a bridge between us and the world. He briefed the audience about the SGI-Gulf Centre or the Peace Room as we fondly refer to it and also about the launch of the Arabic-English version of Dr. Daisaku Ikeda’s book, “The World Is Yours to Change”. He ended his welcome address by asking the audience to instill a poetic spirit and the intention to make this poetry symposium an annual event.

Dr. Ouchi Shares Dr. Daisaku Ikeda’s Message

SGI President Dr. Daisaku Ikeda conveyed his heartfelt congratulations through a message which was read by Dr. Akash Ouchi (SGI Representative for South Asia and Middle East). The message touched the audience’s heart as it personified this poets’ meet as a “fragrant breeze of hope and advancement into the world”. Dr. Ikeda applauded the efforts of Knowledge Village as that shining with “brilliant humanism”. He expressed his unyielding love for poetry which is “undeniably a source of supreme joy”.

The message described a poet’s heart as “constantly searching for the meaning of being truly human and one which “strives one step at a time in the journey of continuous exploration and discovery”. He expressed his desire to nurture young poets and quoted from Dr. Shihab Ghanem’s poem, A Message Across the Desert wherein poetry was compared to a “messenger”, “companion” and “solace…it has wiped away solitude”.

Dr. Ikeda expressed that the “world of poetic heart embodies the Arabian spirit” which is “optimism to discover hope amidst adversity”. He cited his visit to seven Middle Eastern countries 50 years ago and shared the Min-On Concert cultural exchange programme between the Arabian world and Japan. Dr. Ouchi ended Dr. Ikeda’s message by sharing the latter’s poem – Hope is Life’s Treasure – “Hope is a jewel that inspires and uplifts/As long as we have hope we will never be deadlocked”.

Conferral of SGI Peace and Culture Award

The SGI Peace and Culture award was conferred upon Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Executive Director for Dubai Knowledge Village and Dubai international Academic City and Dr. Shihab Ghanem, a prolific local poet who is a also a recipient of various other awards.

Dr. Kazim expressed his joy at receiving the award and urged the youth to cultivate “creative appreciation” and “instill peace and harmony”. He said that “humanity keeps us grounded and connected with our inner being and poetry is the food to provoke the human spirit”. He wished SGI Gulf much success. Dr. Ghanem also expressed his gratitude and said it was a “great honour and pleasure” to receive such a prestigious award.

A Rapt Audience 

From this point onwards, the poetic geniuses were welcomed and they took over the stage. What followed next was a high octane close encounter between the poets and the audience which was to be experienced. It was a rapt, engaging and mesmerizing dialogue between each poet and the audience which left us spellbound. The poems were recited in Arabic, English, Japanese, Hindi and French -centering on issues of World Peace, Universal Harmony and Justice, Environmental Protection and a subjective interpretation of Peace...... (A Medley of Poetry and Music Captivates Audience)

A Joyous Closure

The morning came to a close with the vote of thanks given by Suresh Premkumar, Deputy General Director, SGI-Gulf. He expressed his appreciation for the support and cooperation by the poets, Knowledge Village and all the SGI-Gulf volunteers. On behalf of SGI Gulf, he conveyed the intent of making this poetry symposium an annual event which also encourages and nurtures young talent. The show came to an end with a commemorative photograph with the audience. Further, some volunteers captured the post-event impressions of the esteemed guests which were highly encouraging and motivating. Lunch followed as conversations and congratulatory notes were exchanged.