Dear Visitor,

Jihat al-Shi'r was a cooperative project led by al-Nadeem Foundation of Bahrain and the poet Qassim Haddad. Now we re-launch Jihat al-Shi'r in its new format having benefited greatly from the experience of the past five years and developed and refined its various aspects and enriched it with new ones. As many of its specialist and non-specialist visitors have testified, this Site has established itself as one of the most important sites on the Internet devoted to poetry. While we continue to uphold the original vision of the Site, we try to open up new possibilities and aspire to achieve a lot more than we had originally aspired to achieve.

Jihat al-Shi'r devotes its energies to the voyage of Modern Arabic Poetry in its rich manifestations and transformations. Our ambition to introduce this poetry to the widest possible public is strongly motivated by our awareness of the importance of new means of communication and delivery in the 21st century. The possibilities provided by new technologies represent for the poet's imagination the transparent yet powerful wings that can enhance the creative imagination and encourage it to roam higher and higher in the spaces of creativity which are explored increasingly by the human imagination and the dreams of creative beings.

Among the most important forces that sharpen our imagination, as we refine the performance of Jihat al-Shi'r, are the freedom and beauty that the space of the Internet generates. After centuries of solidly erected barriers, manifested in numerous forms, in the face of creative communication and exploration, nothing remains now in this fascinating blueness except that horizon which seduces us to roam high and to adventure- like fleeing flocks and floating galaxies- in order to open up for poetry, art and creativity all the horizons that it is in our power to open up, horizons that dreamers (in their various arts) have never ceased to outline and construct with their words, lines and colors, and to guard these horizons, as though they were our only and last provisions, with constant, unflinching alertness.

For the specialist, the scholar and student of poetry, as well as for the uninitiated reader and curious visitor, Jihat al-Shi'r aspires to build up a vital source of knowledge about Modern Arabic Poetry and a rich selection of texts by contemporary Arab poets. There are many different ways in which this Site can be of genuine value and immediate benefit to the visitor, ranging from the pure pleasure of reading some of the most beautiful poems in the language, to the practical benefit of saving the researcher both time and energy by providing easy access to material of great value concerning the biographies, images and voices of leading Arab poets of the past half century. We also aspire to keep the Site up to date, by supplying new material as it becomes available and by introducing new voices and works by younger writers. One new dimension of the Site is the emphasis we are placing on the importance of critical writings and the role of critical thought in modern culture. In this respect, works by leading critics will be published on the Site and material not easily accessible will be made available here.

The new Site also includes translations into English and French of many texts and provides new search facilities, while we work harder to construct a more comprehensive database for both poetry and the plastic arts.

We endeavor to kindle our future with dreams, and we are confident of our ability to devote ourselves energetically to this particular dream. As the French poet Rene Char has said, "we never attain the impossible, but we use it as a lantern" to illuminate our path.

And suffice it for poetry to be that blue lantern which illuminates man's path on this ceaselessly wandering planet.

Jihat al-Shi'r