‘Reminiscing the Beginnings’ event underlined Arabic heritage at AABF - GulfToday

‘Reminiscing the Beginnings’ event underlined Arabic heritage at AABF

Tamim 2

An artwork from the event.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

In the presence of Dr. Ali bin Tamim, President of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ADALC) and Dr. Rami Eskander, Director of the Department of Education, Acting Director of the Department of Culture at ALECSO (Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization) and Dr. Ahmado Habibi, expert at Department of Culture, ALECSO, writer and media expert Ali Obaid, Abdelhadi Ghemari, coordinator of activities in the Department of Culture at ALECSO, with the attendance of cultural and art personalities along with a number of media professionals, ADALC organised a cultural programme under the banner Reminiscing the Beginnings by the Cultural Ambassadorship for ALECSO at Bait Mohamed Bin Khalifa during the 14th edition of Al Ain Book Festival (AABF, Nov 19 - Nov 25). The Bait was originally a residence and has been revived and transformed into a community centre and creative space.

The programme began with a speech by Dr. Ali bin Tamim who said that “at the beginning, allow me to give acclaim to Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, Ambassador for Culture for ALECSO and Ambassador of our culture and identity to the world. We dearly value her efforts, her vision and her pivotal role, whose positive impact we see.” He added: “In the art exhibition included in the programme, we have seen the extent of the development embodied by the participating artists with their work and projects and the depth of the vision they have.”


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Dr. Rami Eskandar, who spoke on behalf of Dr. Mohamed Ould Amar, ALECSO Director-General, noted that “two years ago, the United Arab Emirates was honoured with the first title of Ambassador for Arab Culture, bestowed on Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, to hold this title for the first time in the official capacity of Ambassador for Arab Culture. The honour is a commitment that affirms the leading role of the United Arab Emirates, highlighting the efforts of its wise leadership in promoting joint Arab cultural action.

“The organisation, in coordination with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth, appointed Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan as its first Ambassador for Arab culture, as a result of her outstanding achievements in various fields of culture and creativity. This choice confirms the organisation’s desire to develop, diversify and collaborate with the United Arab Emirates, which continues to sponsor and support a large number of the organisation’s programmes and projects.” He underlined that the Ambassador’s initiatives contributed to creating a positive image of Arab culture at the international level and strengthened the links between Arab culture and other cultures.

Tamim 1 An eye looks out from a lamp.

Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan said that “from the first moment, we realised that the mission of the cultural ambassadorship was in honour and appreciation of the United Arab Emirates role as a hub of creativity, art and a gathering point of civilisations. We have spared no effort in opening the doors of dialogue and cultural cooperation with our Arab countries and the world. We are proud to belong to the Arab world, with a many-layered culture and rich civilisational heritage. We always seek to spread the authentic Arab culture and values to other cultures and peoples so they can experience its beauty and appreciate the extent of its openness to the world.”

She said that Anasy Media, which she founded in 2007 along with Sheikha Osha and Sheikha Shamsa with the support of Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, aims to contribute to the development of the cultural, artistic and educational movement in the U.A.E. Reminiscing the Beginnings event began with the inaugural of an art exhibition by a group of Arab artists, including Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan. She presented two works titled The Magic of Syllables in a series which illustrated her artistic style. It emphasised the wonder and magic of the language of Dhad and its beauty, elegance and richness. (Dhad is a widely used letter in Arabic that does not exist in other languages. Thanks to this popular letter, Arabic is sometimes called “the language of Dhad”).

The magic lamp was chosen as a symbol of the presence of Arabic language in our lives, and as a wish fulfiller. The letter and the smoke rising from the lamp embodied pride in the heritage of the Arab nation. Lebanese artist and calligrapher Omar Safa, Lebanese artist Aya Charife, Tunisian artist Hela Amous, Emirati artist Fatima Al-Daheri and Syrian artist Eyad Jouda, were among the participating artists. They presented a collection of works inspired by the beauty of the Arabic language, the maritime culture of the UAE, and the arts that flourished during the Islamic culture in Andalusia and Palestinian-Arab culture.

Salma Al-Banna presented an artwork titled Dream of Peace, painted with a set of improvised decorations that blended features of several cultures, with words in Arabic such as Dream and Peace in blue and gold to symbolise Andalusian culture, which is still seen today. Omar Safa presented a work of art narrating the story of Arabic, and the art of calligraphy. Arabic letters rose here in the form of smoke from the magical lamp. Inspired by Emirati heritage, Aya Charife presented a work of art which told the story of a magical lamp from ages ago, woven with silver outlines and coloured with the shades of the deep blue sea, which granted wishes during sea voyages.

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