Dubai: Islamic art and culture is a powerful way to combat extremism, Minister of Culture and Youth said during the opening of Al Burda Festival on Monday at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi was speaking at the Islamic arts festival’s opening ceremony at Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo, held under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and organised by the Ministry of Culture and Youth under the theme ‘Transcending spaces, discovering the world’.
The two-day festival promotes the values of openness, coexistence and tolerance.
Al Kaabi said: “The second edition of Al Burda Festival coincides with the Golden Jubilee of the UAE. It’s a celebration of Islamic creativity in all its manifestations, and a platform for creators from all over the world. A space for them to advance Islamic arts and to achieve new heights of excellence in creativity.”
She added that the festival’s slogan reflects “pluralism and eclecticism; it signifies spaces that have not been explored yet. It inspires critical intellectual discussion that takes into account the familiar and helps us reconsider the prevailing perceptions. It stirs in us feelings of curiosity to know what we do not know and help us change for the better”.
As the UAE celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the country, Al Kaabi said the country is more than ever committed to strengthening the role of arts and culture in the global dialogue to promote tolerance.
The minister added that Islamic art and culture is a powerful way to combat extremist ideologies. “We can use art to inculcate discipline and help connect generations and beliefs that would enrich our human experience. Art means different things to different people, and it manifests in different forms such as design, poetry, literature, food, technology, fashion, music, and advertising.”
This year, Al Burda Festival includes panel discussions, workshops and dialogue sessions, and attendees will have the opportunity to learn about Islamic arts and enjoy performances inspired by different cultures in the Islamic world. The festival also includes 15 exhibitions of Islamic artworks, in addition to 10 live performances from around the world, including the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Al Burda Award
The Ministry of Culture and Youth announced the names of the 30 winners of the 16th edition of the Al Burda Award in six categories: ‘Classical Poetry,’ ‘Nabati Poetry,’ ‘Classical Calligraphy,’ Modern Calligraphy’ and ‘Ornamentation and Typography’.
The winners were announced at a gala event held on Sunday night at the Dubai Exhibition Centre.
The awards ceremony was attended by Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State, who honoured the 30 winners and took memorial photos with them, alongside Al Kaabi.
Al Kaabi said the award received more than 1,557 contestants in a variety of Islamic arts, ensuring its position as one of the main global events celebrating modern Islamic art and its creators.
Al Kaabi added that since its launch, the award aims to be a bridge for inspiring cultural and artistic communication between people, which aims to brighten the future by introducing authentic Islamic civilisation, culture and arts throughout history.
The closing performance was an Emirati ‘Malid’ by Rashid Al Nuaimi and Saif Fathel.
The award was launched by the ministry in 2004 under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah to commemorate the birthday of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him).
The Al Burda Award was conferred on Egyptian poet Heba Alfeky, (first prize in Classical Poetry)
Abdulaziz Hamed Mohammed Al-Omairi from Oman won the first position in Nabati Poetry
Egypt’s Mohamed Gaber Abouelella placed first in Classical Calligraphy.
The Modern Calligraphy category had four awards, with Mahsa Javad Davachi of Iran winning first prize.
Mihriban Beyza Kaya from Turkey won the first prize in Ornamentation.
Eight winners were announced in the Typography category, namely Syrian national Duaa Abzeed, Jamal Eldin Elsamani Mohammed from Sudan, Tarek Samir Alsawwa from Syria, Reza Babajani from Iran, Bita Amel from Iran, Lama Kadri from Lebanon, Asia Alsheshani from Jordan and Fatima Abdulla Alketbi from the UAE.