Artworks at the House of Hope event.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Highlighting unity in diversity as an important component of the UAE community, under the patronage of the Ambassador for Culture for Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO), Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, ZeeArts and IBU Group, in partnership with Anasy Media, celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the UAE by hosting a live art event titled House of Hope at Nakheel Mall in Dubai on December 9.
Fifty artists from countries such as Armenia, Comoros Islands, Cuba, India, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Tunis and the seven emirates of the UAE and a group of girls and boys representing the UAE Council for Motherhood & Childhood, were invited to participate in an art installation. They created the number “50” on a red-carpet, using boxes symbolising a “house”.Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan is the first woman to be designated as the Ambassador for Culture by the Arab League. She debuted as a film director in 2020, and has directed the short fantasy film Athel, which was awarded a Platinum Award for Best Fantasy Short. It was a Gold Remi Award winner in the USA, and was also officially selected for recognition in other film festivals internationally.
Sheikha Alyazia’s brother Sheikh Mohammad Bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, and her two sons, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Diab Bin Saif Al Nahyan and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Diab Bin Saif Al Nahyan, graced the event by their presence. The event concluded with an award ceremony, where certificates of appreciation were distributed to the participants by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Diab Bin Saif Al Nahyan and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Diab Bin Saif Al Nahyan, Zahirah Muthy and Dr Ibrahim, CEO of IBU Group. Taking the inner safe space of a home as a departure point, the artists were challenged to repurpose each box as a vessel for what “home” means to each one of them.
(The UAE is home to a variety of religions and cultures that share a common home and sense of hope). The artists then designed their creations with solely the four colours of the UAE flag. They were further encouraged to reflect on the concept of Khalwa, the Arabic word for seclusion, and the Islamic practice of spiritual retreat and reflection. Indeed, retreating to our homes over the past two years has presented an opportunity to pause, reflect and hope for a brighter future.
“Past years have emphasised the importance of unity as a vital necessity for providing a better life for the people, for ensuring stability in the country and for realising the hopes and aspirations of our people,” is a quote from the founding father and the principal driving force behind the unity of the seven Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. His words echo even louder now, as the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary of unification, amidst a world challenged by the pandemic. The House of Hope event opened with the national anthem, performed by the founder of the well-known ‘Sharq Orchestra’, the talented solo violinist Mohammad Hamami, followed by an inspirational talk about the Khalwa concept by the young Emirati speaker Mira Ghobash. The event brought to light the artistic talent that resides and thrives in the UAE.
Muthy, the founder of ZeeArts and curator of the project said: “The UAE is the Land of Hope, connecting people, creating opportunities and nurturing collaboration and growth. “I would like to congratulate the Rulers of the UAE, and may this country be blessed with abundance, knowledge and prosperity bringing Hope, Healing and Happiness to the world.” Established in 2007, Anasy Media was founded by Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, along with Sheikha Osha and Sheikha Shamsa. It aims to contribute to the development of the cultural, artistic and educational movement in the UAE. Based in Abu Dhabi, it is one of the first in the country to specialise in documentaries and seeks to engage the community in the creative field by organising events, competitions and exhibitions. It brings together the past and the present, connecting the ancient civilisations, customs and traditions with modern trends and ideas. Anasy Media has built up an award-winning track-record delivering short and feature-length documentary film productions on various subjects, ranging from history and culture to contemporary issues, for broadcast and cinema release.
They are available on iTunes, Virgin Megastores and numerous TV channels. Its films have been screened at over ninety international film festivals worldwide and across commercial cinemas in the UK, USA, UAE and Gulf region. ALECSO is based in Tunis and promotes Arab culture, by developing the fields of education, culture and science at the regional and national levels. It seeks to achieve unity of thought in the Arab world through education, culture and science and to enhance the level of culture in the region and contribute to universal civilisation. ZeeArts has maintained its longstanding tradition of inviting artists on an annual basis to curate and conceptualise artworks from the colours of the UAE flag, since its first live painting session way back in 2012, in celebration of the UAE National Day.
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