SHARJAH: The Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, opened the 14th edition of the annual Dar Al Khaleej Conference held in Sharjah on Saturday under the theme “The GCC: Reality and Aspirations.”
Sheikh Nahyan devoted the bulk of his speech to highlighting the achievements of former Chairman of Dar Al Khaleej, Dr Abdullah Omran Taryam, with whom he sat side-by-side at the conference’s editions consistently for over a decade. Dr Abdullah passed away on January 30.
“No one can deny the shock that we had on the demise of Dr Abdullah who left his post vacant. We cried from the depth of our hearts over his departure and shed the dear tears for him,” he said, before praying and wishing that “he would be placed in paradise.”
“Taryam and Abdulla Omran were among the constellation of pioneers of the Arab World,” said Abdul Hakim Abdul Nasser, the son of the former Egyptian President, Jamal Abdul Nasser.
He expressed sincere gratitude to both the Chairman and Editor in Chief of Dar Al Khaleej for Press and Publishing and Printing, Khalid Abdullah Omran, and both Amira and Aysha Abdullah Omran in their dignities in addition to the “Dar Al Khaleej for Press” family for having invited him to the paramount conference.
“All loyalty, pride and respect, this has given a chance to recall the demise of the founder of this outshining Arab national edifice. Allah predestined that the name of Abdullah and Taryam Omran be linked to a multifaceted message.
“In this message, boosting Arab nationalism and standing by Nasser’s approach lies on one side and striving to achieve knowledge and freedom lies on the other.
“Al Khaleej has carried the responsibility of building the UAE in several fields, ranging from undertaking ministerial posts and heading the FNC on top of considering the concerns of citizens, defending their rights and defending free opinion and creativity.
“Taryam and Abdullah Omran were among the constellation of pioneers of the Great Arab World and the UAE in particular. They had a strong belief in their loyalty and adherence to the their mission and message until their last breath,” he concluded.
Five journalists were on Saturday bestowed the annual Taryam Omran Journalism Awards now in its eleventh edition during the conference.
Four of the winners came from two newspapers: Al Ittihad and Al Khaleej. The fifth prize went to an emerging website, snyarnet, which was established in 2008. The website was commended by the jury for “consistently tackling social issues of the UAE, the Gulf and the Arab world in general.”
The conference’s roundtable session focused on current issues in the GCC and the region at large.
The session headed by Dr Yousif Al Hassan saw a host of renowned figures including Dr Saif Al Maskri, Dr Abdullah Al Neibari, Dr Al Fakhro and Mohammed Hussain Al Shaali who discussed solutions to current GCC problems besides future visions.
“If we look at the future of the council – the 33-year-old body that witnessed several meetings, decisions, events and situations – we should be optimistic that its future role will be more significantly developed than the current,” stressed Dr Saif Al Maskri.
“Having worked for 6 years as assistant general secretary for GCC political affairs in Oman, I realised that the GCC basically focuses on regional rather than local issues.”
“In order to improve, we the old generation should give a chance to the promising generation. The council lasted 33 years without concrete progress; we should declare failure, we should admit that we could not achieve aspiration of the citizens.