To celebrate the 23rd National Poetry Day, over 120 students gave their voices in the name of Freedom, the chosen theme for the 2017 Poetry Evening at Doha College, and the performances did not disappoint, with student performances marked with power, passion, pageantry and prose.

Students aged 11 to 18 mesmerised guests with 30 poems in Arabic, French, Spanish, German and Italian during the 90-minute event at the Doha College Al Waab auditorium.

Doha College Head of English Clare Fairley explained that Freedom was undoubtedly a poignant choice this year in the face of more uncertain times and tragedies across the world.

The poems chosen by our students show the creativity and prose we encourage and support at Doha College. This annual event is a fantastic platform for our students to perform their favourite poems and readings. Each year the students rehearse and study the poetry to be able not only to recite it perfectly on stage but also to be able to bring the words alive and evoke the poet’s emotions within their delivery.’

She said that overall, the event fulfilled its aim to encourage the passion of the students for poetry. Fairley praised the efforts and commitment of everyone who had gone through an audition to perform. All poems were chosen by the students, who were free to interpret the chosen theme of Freedom.

Their job was to captivate the audience, and they certainly achieved that.’

Noteworthy mentions were five Year 8 students – Issa, Harvey, Celia, Hannah and Gabrielle who added clever choreography to their performance of ‘Oh! The Places You’ll Go’ by Dr Seuss. Four Year 12 students Fariha, Jan, Alberto and Beatriz also demonstrated their language and musical skills with a rendition of Moustaki’s ‘Ma Liberte’ in French set to a guitar piece with songs and spoken word.

One of the most powerful and thought provoking drama-inspired performances of the evening came from the students studying GCSE drama who performed as a group reciting ‘First They Came’ by Pastor Martin Niemoller.

A Freedom Poetry evening would not be complete without readings from the poetry of American Civil Rights Activist Maya Angelou, and as she was famously quoted, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel‘. The audience certainly felt the quote was accurate, and feedbacks were very encouraging. The mother of Year 7 student Madeleine Jackson, who performed her first poetry evening that night, said that the students made the words come alive.

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