Another $675K Literary Prize from Qatar

Soon after the debut Katara prizes were awarded — to no little controversy — Qatar’s “Katara” group has announced another set of literary prizes totally more than $600,000USD:

An image of the Katara cultural village from "Marhaba Qatar."
An image of the Katara cultural village from “Marhaba Qatar.”

This prize is called the “Katara Prize for Prophet’s Poets,” and the prize is set to be launched next Monday at the Katara Opera Theatre.

According to The Peninsula Qatar:

The aim of the Prize is to select the poet who composes the best poem praising Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) using his talent and language command, he said.

Furthermore, the Prize’s aim is to maintain high level of Arabic language style and encourage people to recite poems and give attention to poetry as a vital part of Arab heritage and tradition.

The Prize carries a total sum of $675,000 which will be divided into the first prize of $300,000, second prize $200,000, third prize $100,000, fourth prize $50,000 and fifth prize $25,000.

Participation, oddly, is only open to poets between the ages of 20 and 50. More details are available at the Peninsula Qatar website.

These new Qatari literary awards are ludicrously large. As Youssef Rakha pointed out over at his blog, if the money that was given away for the Katara Novel Award was “available to grant-making institutions in Egypt, the sum would be enough for 100 financially viable awards.”