Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi (centre) led the first meeting of the board of directors of Alliance Française at the House of Wisdom Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The board of directors of Sharjah’s ‘Alliance Française’ recently held its first meeting at the House of Wisdom (HoW) to discuss strategic and executive plan for 2023 and create more opportunities for learning the French language in Sharjah, as well as serving as a hub for future exchanges between French and Emirati cultures.

The meeting took place in the presence of Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, chairwoman of the Alliance Française of Sharjah; Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, vice chair of the Alliance Française of Sharjah; Hugo Henry Ceylan, cultural counsellor and president of Institut Français in the UAE, who represented the French Embassy; Emery Kalema, assistant professor of History at the Africa Institute; and Audrey Leseigneur, director of the Alliance Française of Sharjah.

Alliance Française is the official centre for French language in the UAE and offers activities for students to help them with homework assigned by French schools. Partnership agreement

Leseigneur opened the meeting with a presentation on existing and future projects of Sharjah’s Alliance Française, including the partnership agreement signed between the French embassy and Alliance Française’s branches of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, at the headquarters of the Department of Government Relations (DGR).

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She also discussed memorandums of understanding to be signed in the future; collaborations with Sharjah Art Foundation; as well as partnerships with Sharjah’s schools and universities.

Ceylan said: “Alliance Française serves as a French hub in Sharjah, and alongside Lycée Français International Georges Pompidou, an educational institution for teaching French in UAE public and private schools, they will represent France at our major cultural events such as book fairs, Sharjah Biennial and many other important occasions.”

Vibrant culture

Alliance Française was established in Sharjah in September 2022, adding to the UAE’s vibrant Alliance Française network. The expansion of the alliance falls in line with the agreement signed between the DGR and the French embassy to advance expertise and knowledge exchange, enable French schools and cultural institutions in the UAE to benefit from the leadership of the alliance, and aid students achieve mastery of French language.