Showcasing cultural diversity - GulfToday

Showcasing cultural diversity

Expo Culture

Artists entertain the visitors at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today.

Sajjad Ahmad, Gulf Today

The Ministry of Culture and Youth unveiled its strategic agenda and announced a series of international conferences for Expo 2020 Dubai, which opened its doors to visitors on October 1, 2021.

The Ministry’s programme aims to showcase the richness and diversity of the UAE’s cultural landscape, its progress and development in the creative and intellectual spheres, and its global standing in these fields.

Through its initiatives, the Ministry of Culture and Youth seeks to provide an environment that promotes constructive dialogue between different cultures and peoples, based on the Expo’s slogan ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. The Ministry’s participation reaffirms its strategic role in enriching the artistic and cultural movement in the UAE as well as globally, while also building a strong network of relationships with regional and international organizations in the field.

A number of events and initiatives that highlight the cultural identity, heritage and civilization of the UAE have been planned during the Expo. The Ministry will also showcase its efforts in developing an infrastructure to support the Cultural and Creative Industries as a potential building block of a knowledge-based economy, which contributes to comprehensive and sustainable development.

UAE as a global destination Commenting on the Ministry of Culture and Youth’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai,  Excellency Noura Bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is an opportunity to spotlight the UAE’s knowledge and cultural diversity. Based on the principles of tolerance, harmony and communication, the Expo will be a convergence of people and cultures from across the world. Peaceful coexistence is our legacy, the core of our identity and the foundation of the country established by the late Founding Father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This is the direction our wise leadership has followed in the last 50 years, and as we look forward to the next 50, we reflect upon our country’s human and cultural mission and the values of our cultural heritage.”

Her Excellency added: “The Ministry of Culture and Youth’s participation in this strategic event is in line with its vision to establish the importance of the cultural, media and youth sectors and maximize their contribution to nation’s economy. We aim to boost our cultural and creative industries by investing in the creativity and capability of youth. These efforts will bolster the UAE’s position as a global hub for supporting youth, media, culture and creativity in all its forms.”

World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE) The Ministry is organizing the World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE), to coincide with UNESCO’s declaration of the year 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, where it seeks to discuss how best to support innovation and investment in creative projects, provide new opportunities for growth, and empower creative talent globally.

The conference will focus on the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to the cultural and creative industries, and the creation of new opportunities to promote creative entrepreneurship, for culture to support tolerance and social cohesion. This is also dedicated to the concept of comprehensive recovery in the future, where the Ministry has worked to launch a national programme to support creative, distinguished and talented individuals, making the UAE a global leader in this field.

The 2021 World Conference on Creative Economy will bring together representatives of governments, policymakers, international organizations, experts, businessmen and innovators. The event will host two conferences, one for creative economists and the other for Ministers. The event will serve as a platform for those interested in the creative economy and stakeholders, to exchange ideas, meet challenges, discuss new opportunities, and build networks to support the growth of the global creative economy.

Al Burda Award and Festival From December 19th to 21st, the Ministry is organizing Al Burda Award and Festival with the aim to strengthen the UAE’s position as a cultural centre and incubator for Islamic creative arts. The three-day event will host dialogue sessions, art exhibitions and performances featuring intellectuals and creators from around the world. The festival is a platform for sharing ideas and developing joint creative projects to celebrate Islamic culture. Al Burda Award will honour outstanding creators in four categories namely poetry, Arabic calligraphy, ornamentation and Arabic typography.

The Ministry of Culture and Youth has already received 1,557 entries in different categories of the Al Burda Awards from 56 countries around the world. The Ministry has received 685 entries in classical poetry, 329 entries in modern calligraphy, followed by 192 in traditional calligraphy, 163 submissions in the ornamentation category, 115 works in Arabic typography and 73 entries in the Nabati poetry category.

Arabic Language Summit The Ministry is organizing the “Arabic Language Summit” in conjunction with the International Day of the Arabic Language which is celebrated on December 18 every year. The summit will discuss the status of the Arabic language and the challenges in its teaching and spread in non-Arabic speaking societies. The summit will also draw up an objective vision of the current status of Arabic not only as a strong part of the Arab identity and an important tool of interaction and exchange of ideas between Arab societies, but also as a means for a cognitive push towards an enlightened contemporaneity and promising future.

The summit to be held on 19-20 December, will highlight the efforts made by the UAE as a global hub for the advancement of Arabic and its contribution in strengthening its position globally, through a series of initiatives to acknowledge its importance as a symbol of national identity and maintaining it as a strategic priority.

The summit will welcome experts, academics and interested participants to put forth their ideas about the most pressing issues affecting the language today. It will be a platform to tackle some of the topics researched in the ‘The Future of the Arabic Language Status Report’ issued by the Ministry of Culture and Youth in partnership with the Advisory Council on the Arabic Language. The report, whose first edition came out in December 2020, delves into the issues confronting the Arabic language and recommends a number of decisive steps to be taken for the development of the language.

The Ministry will host the 22nd Session of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers on December 19 and 20, 2021, which will review and develop a comprehensive plan for Arab culture, address the challenges facing the preservation of the cultural heritage, and discuss the unification of strategic efforts to develop the system of cultural and creative industries. It will also discuss areas of joint action to promote Arab cultural cooperation with different cultures in the world through a series of joint initiatives and projects, as well as highlight the UAE’s efforts in these areas.

The meeting is part of the cooperation between the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific organisation (ALECSO) to implement the decision of the 21st session of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers. The previous editions of the conference achieved an important balance of gains and achievements, including the areas of joint Arab cultural work while opening new horizons for the development of qualitative plans and cultural projects that will elevate Arab culture to the status it deserves.

The UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth works to enrich the cultural ecosystem of the UAE by supporting the country’s cultural, art and heritage institutions. It provides a platform for artists and innovators, promotes cross-cultural dialogue, and delivers dynamic productions and experiences that represent the UAE’s rich and eclectic culture on national as well as international level. The Ministry’s key mandates include investing in youth and empowering them and building a knowledge-based economy for a sustainable future. The Ministry is also entrusted with regulating the media sector in the UAE by formulating and implementing legislation, regulations, and standards for licensing media and media activities.

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