Tonight’s the night for Hissa Hilal—and the four other finalists competing against the suddenly world-famous Saudi poetess for the title of “Million’s Poet.”
According to The National, the five finalists are:
- Falah al Mowraqi, 21, Kuwait, youngest finalist
- Hissa Hilal, 43, Saudi Arabia, first female finalist
- Sultan al Asaimar, 28, Kuwait, poetry editor
- Jazaa al Baqmi, 31, Saudi Arabia, computer teacher
- Nasser al Ajami, 30, Kuwait, poetry novice
Apparently, this is a young person’s competition. Hissa Hilal is not only the only woman, she’s the only poet who’s not younger than me.
But Hilal’s not the only poet to tackle political issues. In his most recent performance, 28-year-old Al Asaimar also spoke on the topic of terrorism. According to A Big Message:
His poem describes a terrorist as someone who thinks the earth and the people are his, giving him the right to make changes as he sees fit, even at the expense of destroying the smile of a young child. He compares terrorism to cancer in the brain, and concludes that there is no homeland for terrorism, only the heart of the aggressor.
Other snippets from The National: Al Ajami has been praised by the poetry judges for his wisdom, Al Mowraqi originally wrote in English before shifting to the nabati form, and Al Baqmi said his plan after Million’s Poet is to do his graduate work in computer science.