Sheikha Hoor is described as “a pioneer in the art world who has tirelessly promoted greater cultural understanding and exchange in the Middle East and around the world.”
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
A 63-year-old US-based global non-profit non-partisan organisation into educating the world about Asia is honouring Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, daughter of UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi and Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, for bridging understanding through the arts and culture.
Gulf Today received an email from Asia Society on Thursday, quoting its president and chief executive officer Josette Sheeran about Sheikha Hoor, behind the Sharjah Arts Foundation (SAF) and the Sharjah Biennial, as among the organisation’s “2019 Asia Game Changers who have truly championed gender equality while making enormous contributions to society and social structures within their home countries.”
Established in 1956 in New York by a group of concerned individuals led by philanthropist John D Rockefeller III, of the affluent and influential Rockefeller family of industrialists, Asia Society has been re-orienting the world about Asia by way of the arts and education, as well as policy and business outreach programmes.
The organisation’s “Asia Game Changer Awards,” now on its sixth year from 2014, co-organised with leading global bank Citi, recognises trailblazing individuals and distinguished contributors towards a much better understanding of the world’s largest continent and its peoples.
For this year, all the awardees are women.
Sheeran said, “They are inspiring agents of change who are building a better world—for women and for everyone—by changing the rules, changing the game, and challenging all of us to follow their lead.”
The awards night will be on Oct. 24, 2019 at Cipriani in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
In the honorees’ profiles, Sheikha Hoor is described as “a pioneer in the art world who has tirelessly promoted greater cultural understanding and exchange in the Middle East and around the world.”
The society traced her impactful contributions from the time she earned a degree from the prestigious Slade School of Fine Arts in London in 2003 when at age 22, she was the first-ever woman director and youngest team member of the Sharjah Biennial with “a big vision.”
The society acknowledged that her “typical perseverance and patience transformed the event into an internationally acclaimed platform for contemporary artists, curators and cultural producers.”
The society mentioned that Sheikha Hoor is not only the SAF founder/president/director in-charge of the Sharjah Biennial but also The Africa Institute president, International Biennial Association president, board director of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial to be launched this November and Lahore Biennial 2020 curator.
The society distinguished Sheikha Hoor as the woman behind artists from various parts of the “Middle East, Africa, South Asia and beyond” provided with avenues for UAE residents and visitors, and others know about their respective countries and cultures.
“Through it all, Al Qasimi has worked tirelessly to promote greater cultural understanding and exchange between artists, curators, cultural producers, and the public.”
According to the SAF website, Sheikha Hoor is a practising artist and curator who has expanded the scope of the organisation into the promotion of innovative and experimental visual arts, film and music. She heavily supports emerging youth and adult artists in Sharjah.
With Sheikha Hoor on Oct.24 are are Sana Mir (Pakistan), former captain of her country’s national cricket team distinguished as one of the greatest cricket players in the world; Yuriko Koike (Japan), first-ever female and current Tokyo governor, first-ever Japan’s female defence minister who will be at the helm of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, 2020 Summer Olympics, and 2020 Summer Paralympics taking place in her country’s capital; Chhaya Sharma (India) who altered her country’s police work and role of policewomen as she led investigations and prosecutions of high-profile crimes that include a New Delhi gang rape case now known in the film industry as “Delhi Crime.”
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