Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here – Opportunities

Just us and Glasgow Museums to commemorate Al-Mutanabbi with poetry readings inspired by his work

June 11, 2019

As part of Refugee Festival Scotland, Scottish PEN is working with Glasgow Museums for an event at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum honouring Abu al-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi, an Arab poet of the 10th century, born in Kufa in southern Iraq in 915 AD. He is considered to be the greatest poet of the Arabic Language; his poetic legacy comprises of 326 poems and poetic verses, including a number of poetic themes from eulogies and elegies to boastful, satirical, war and wisdom.
Al-Mutanabbi Street is the main book-sellers’ market in Baghdad.  As an ancient street in the city, it had been known by various names over the centuries, but in 1932 it was renamed by King Ghazi of Iraq as Al-Mutanabbi Street in honour of the poet.
As part of this event Noorah Al-Gailani, Iraqi migrant and curator at Glasgow Museums, will take us on a personal photo journey of Al-Mutanabbi Street. Noorah has frequented it, and watched it change throughout her life. There will also be a recitation of Al-Mutanabbi’s poetry a member of the Iraqi community in Glasgow, Hashim Kadhim.

Date: 14:00, Sunday 30th June

Venue: Kelvingrove Museum, Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8AG
For more information:
Would you like to be involved?
Scottish PEN members are invited to give short readings of poetic responses to Al-Mutanabbi’s work during the event. This is an open call for those who would like to respond in the language and form of expression they find most appropriate. There are five 5-minute long slots available for performances / readings which will take place during the event that starts at 14:00 on 30th June. See the link above for more details.
For inspiration here is a selection of AL-Mutanabbi’s poetry:
This is an unpaid opportunity, but we can cover reasonable travel expenses (prioritising public transport) to Glasgow. 
Slots will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis and please register your interest by emailing with the subject line: Al-Mutanabbi Readings. If you miss out do not worry, we are exploring ways to potentially extend this project if there is interest!
Should you have any questions please get in touch with me at the email address above or please contact Mia Gubbay at Glasgow Museums on
We hope you will join us to celebrate this legendary Iraqi poet at Kelvingrove.

TAGS: Al-Mutanabbi event Iraq reading Writing Opportunities