Dubai Culture brings together eminent UAE figures to participate in a panel discussion at the Arab World Institute in Paris
A group of senior speakers discuss UAE’s cultural heritage alongside the first international retrospective of the artist Abdulqader Al Rais
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 26 September 2018: Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature, organised a panel discussion at the Arab World Institute on 25th September, alongside the first international retrospective by Emirati artist, Abdulqader Al Rais, being held in Paris from 25th September – 21st October.
Prior to the panel, His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State, gave a 30-minute presentation, focusing on the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan outstanding moments from his life as well as highlighted the dimensions of the UAE’s ‘Year of Zayed 2018’ initiative and the achievements of the Founding Father who inspires one generation after the other. Post which the panel began and included His Excellency Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library; His Excellency Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute; and was headed by the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Canvas and Sorbet Magazines, Ali Khadra.
His Excellency Mohammed Al Murr is one of the prominent cultural leaders in Dubai who led the Dubai Cultural Council before the establishment of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. Al Murr is also known for collecting artworks, some of which are in this exhibition.
His Excellency Dr Zaki Nusseibeh, who accompanied the late Sheikh Zayed during the founding of the United Arab Emirates and accompanied him on his first official visit to France in July 1975, is also an art collector with an interest in various art forms. As Minister of State, His Excellency is now responsible for the cultural diplomacy of the United Arab Emirates.
His Excellency Jack Lang is a prominent figure when it comes to the French art scene and holds a vast record of achievements in the French cultural field. Since taking up the position as President of the Arab World Institute in Paris, he has been making frequent visits to various Arab countries, thus becoming a joint ambassador to both sides, working to combine the values of tolerance and mutual understanding.
The theme of the panel, which attracted a number of interested visitors, was the importance of building up cultural relations between nations and people beyond politics, especially as culture is one of the strongest links that can bring together any two countries to promote mutual understanding, respect, and tolerance.
The speakers also highlighted the importance of the ongoing retrospective, which is part of the 2018-2019 Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue celebration, and reviewed the various opportunities of cultural cooperation between the two countries, as well as the means to support and strengthen them in the future. Following the successful opening of the retrospective, the panel also highlighted the importance of culture as a soft power tool when it comes to promoting relations between people.
The panel participants also reviewed ways to support the initiative of the 2018-2019 Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue and the mechanisms to promote long-standing and close cultural relations with France. They also agreed that this step complements the ongoing efforts of the two parties to join relations and elevate them to the highest possible level.
The presentation given by His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh was as an ideal introduction to the event, highlighting the positive influence the late Sheikh Zayed left on the cultural, arts, heritage and literature sectors. Through this spanel, Dubai Culture succeeded in highlighting its cultural diplomacy, which aims to strengthen relations of cooperation and coordination with many destinations and cultural centres with brotherly and friendly countries around the world. The participants also highlighted the efforts of the UAE in general and Dubai in particular in spreading the Arab culture and heritage to an international audience, and the efforts exerted by the UAE’s wise leadership to instil awareness about the values of tolerance, mutual understanding and co-existence embodied in the spirit of creative arts through the establishment of cultural exchange. Which will be covered by the panel discussions that will be held on the side-lines of the retrospective in Paris.
Dubai Culture aims to enhance Dubai’s cultural scene and draw attention to the UAE’s rich heritage with a variety of initiatives that take place throughout the year. The Authority’s mandate is to build bridges of constructive dialogue between different civilisations and cultures through enriching initiatives that benefit the Emirate’s citizens, residents, and visitors. The Institute — awarded the title of ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ at the twelfth edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award earlier this year — also aims to promote exchange and cooperation between France and the Arab world, especially in the fields of science and technology, to contribute to the development of relations between the Arab world and Europe.
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