Iraqi artist Kazem Al Saher, one of the best-selling Arab singers of all time, to perform on Prince of Poets

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2008
Category: Entertainment
Countries: United Arab Emirates
Description: Million’s Poet and Prince of Poets join forces as former MP contestant to appear as guest poet.
Million’s Poet and Prince of Poets join forces as former MP contestant to appear as guest poet.

This Thursday’s episode of Prince of Poets is gearing up to be an exciting one for both the poets and the audience.

With only one more episode until the final, the remaining six poets are going to be feeling the pressure to present their best work in the hopes of impressing both the audience and the judges.

Entertaining viewers this week will be the notorious Iraqi singer Kazem Al Saher’s who is one of the best placed artists for this show as he is most known for his classical Arabic songs.

Joining a long list of Arabic performers who have appeared on the show including Angham, Hani Shaker and Assala Nasry the list of talent supporting the show only gets bigger.

Also performing as guest poet this week will be Million’s Poet II contestant Hilal Al Muteri from Saudi Arabia who is best known for his patriotic poems for Saudi Arabia and the late King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, the ruler of Saudi Arabia.

Fans of Kazem Al Saher and Hilal Al Muteri can attend the Prince of Poets show for free at Al Raha Beach Theatre in Abu Dhabi. Doors will open at 20:00 and close at 22:00 with the live show going on air at 22:30.

The third and final phase of Prince of Poets will see the fifteen poets of phase two narrowed down to finally five. Performing on Thursday night’s episode are Adi Weld Adab from Mauritania, Ahmed Bekhiet from Egypt, Seedi Mohammed Weld Bamba from Mauritania, Mohammed Ibrahim Yacoub from Saudi Arabia and Mohannad Sari from Jordan.

One last poet from the second phase remains to be chosen, will it be Algerian Khalidiyah Gaballah, Iraqi Omar Hamad Helal, Yemeni Ameed Ali Ahmed or Kuwaiti Meeshal Al Mazeeni Al Harbi? The answer is in the hands of the audience as viewers are down to the last three days of voting for their favourite poet. For details on how to vote, viewers can visit the Prince of Poets website

Kazem Al Saher has firmly established himself as one of the biggest singers in the Middle East with more than 30 million albums sold since the start of his career in 1989.

Kazem has covered the spectrum of music from classical Arabic to pop, romantic love ballads to more political songs, he has enjoyed success unattained by many in the industry since the days of Umm Kulthum.

Born in Iraq in 1961, he sold his bicycle at the age of ten to buy a guitar and soon began writing songs and playing the lute. Kazem was accepted into the Baghdad Music Academy at the age of 21 and began producing his own songs but hit a hard wall when producers he approached refused to have him sing anything but their own material.

Adamant about singing his songs, Kathem went on location with a television director and shot a video for the song ‘Laghdat Al Hayya’ which was slipped into a broadcast on television and went on to become a hit all over Iraq and the Gulf.

After his graduation from the academy in 1988, he gained even more popularity with his pop song A’abart Al Shat and, having conquered pop music, turned his attention to classical Arabic music, using scales that hadn’t been used in Iraqi music in several decades and successfully revitalizing a tradition.

After two albums released in 1989 and 1990, his career was hindered by the outbreak of the Gulf War but he soon moved to Lebanon and vigorously worked on his music. It was in Lebanon that he met the famous Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani and began one of the most important collaborations in Arabic music.

Qabbani, who wrote songs for Umm Kulthum, wrote the lyrics to more than 30 of Kazem’s songs. In addition to Qabbani’s poems, Kazem sang both political and romantic songs for Iraq and Baghdad, highlighting the feelings of the citizens of Iraq as well as their tragedies.

By 1998, he had ten albums under his belt and his fame was skyrocketing throughout the world. His song, ‘Tathakkar’ about children dying in the streets of Baghdad won him a UNICEF award and in 1999, he performed the song in the United States in front of members of congress and UN diplomats.

Later that year, Kazem recorded a tribute to the Pope with the National Italian Symphony and his album, El Hob El Moustahil, was the first of his albums to have an American release. Since then, Kazem has gone on to produce an album a year and enjoy popularity as one of the greatest artists of modern Arabic music.

Prince of Poets is a classical Arabic poetry knockout TV competition that garnered the interest of the Arab World during its first season last year.

The show aims to merge modern media concepts with a form of poetry that has been popular for centuries to the masses in order to revive this age-old art among the youth of the Arab World.

The Prince of Poets show is a project of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and is produced by Pyramedia.

The Prince of Poets TV competition will be aired live on Abu Dhabi TV and the Poetry Channel. The live shows are free for the public to attend at 22:30 at Al Raha Beach Theatre with last entrance at 21:30, until August 14 2008.