Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Prince of Poets: Arab Poetry’s Answer to American Idol

By Saifedean Ammous

Imagine an American TV network deciding to take the American Idol format and apply it to poetry; lining up poets to read their poems in front of temperamental judges while the nation gets out its mobile phones to vote for its favorite poet. One can be sure the show would not survive the first commercial break before the chastened executives pull the plug on it and replace it with yet another series on the Life and Times of Nicole Ritchie. Yet, that was exactly the formula for the latest TV sensation to take Arab countries by storm.

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