Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi interacts with delegates.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The emirate of Sharjah hosted the first-ever annual leadership meeting in the country for the prestigious King Sejong Institute Foundation (KSIF); gathering more than 250 heads, representatives, and staff members from KSIF’s international branches. Held in the Sharjah’s iconic House of Wisdom (HoW), the meeting offered the attendees the first-of-its-kind platform in the country to network, attend workshops and events spanning music and culture, and discuss the latest global developments in language education, and envision the creation of an overarching plan to continue promoting Korean culture and language in the UAE and Middle East and reinforce intercultural exchange and partnerships.
Packed agenda highlighting best practices The meeting began with a cultural performance showcasing traditional Korean heritage, followed by training programmes and workshops aimed at enhancing and introducing visitors to the basics of the Korean language and culture. The meeting featured visual presentations on the cultural diversity embraced by the King Sejong Institute, and a report on institute competitions, encouraging students to use the Korean language in their daily lives.
As part of the exchange of best practices among institute officials and representatives, the meeting held panel discussions addressing key challenges and opportunities in promoting and teaching the Korean language worldwide. It also featured a range of workshops and interactive activities delivered by experts and teachers from Korea, covering various aspects of promoting the South Korean language and culture.
The prominent attendees of this annual leadership meeting included; Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of DGR; Lee Hai Young, President of KSIF; Jeong Jong Kwon, General Director of KSIF; Moon Byung-Jun, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in the UAE; Lee Yong Hee, Director of the Korean Cultural Centre in the UAE; Kim Jong Oh, Director of the Korean Culture Department in Iran; Choi Young Jun, Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Korea, and other VIPs.
A new era of fruitful partnerships in various development sectors Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi said: “This meeting reiterates our exclusive opportunity to strengthen the 40-year friendship the UAE has enjoyed with the Republic of South Korea. We are inspired by the vision of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to continue building new bridges with cultures worldwide, along with strengthening existing ones.
By bringing together influential personalities from the King Sejong Institute Foundation to Sharjah, we are showcasing Korea’s increasing cultural significance in the region, while also amplifying our commitment to forging new connections with cities across the globe. Sharjah is a vibrant modern city strongly tied to its Emirati roots, heritage, language, literature, science, and culture, and is home to more than 1.8 million that are an integral part of the emirate’s society.”
The annual leadership meeting was a significant milestone in the promotion of Korean language and culture in the Middle East and Africa region. With the vision of strengthening existing ties and building new bridges, the gathering set the stage for fruitful collaborations in various sectors, driving sustainable development in the UAE and beyond.
The tour offered a comprehensive overview of HoW’s key features – an impressive collection of physical and digital resources including rare books, its multipurpose halls, spaces dedicated for reading, working, hosting events and exhibitions, fabrication laboratories, and an advanced printing facility.
A Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) project, House of Wisdom reimagines libraries for the 21st century, and is scheduled for public opening in April this year in Sharjah.
According to Sheikha Bodour, the House of Wisdom is a new cultural milestone, and has strengthened Sharjah’s position as a melting pot of world cultures in the region.
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