Lt-Gen Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan views the exhibits at Warehouse 421 in Mina Zayed. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: Al Burda Festival on the future of Islamic art and culture opened in the capital on Wednesday.

The event aims to celebrate Islamic art and culture, educate the young generation on Islamic traditions, and raise public awareness about the beauty of Islamic art. It is organised by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development (MCKD).

The festival also provides an international platform for Islamic art and culture, and gathering creative leaders and personalities from around the globe to collaborate, exchange insights and share ideas through talks, performances and exhibitions.

Lt-Gen Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Noora Mohammad Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, attended the celebrations at Warehouse 421 in Mina Zayed in the capital.

‘Peaceful message’

Speaking at the event, Al Kaabi said: “The festival seeks to showcase the greatness of Islamic civilisation through its art that represents an invaluable part of human heritage. Islamic art reflects the hopes, ambitions, potential and the philosophy of nations, and we want the world to see our own youth’s ambitions, potential and hopes of creating a better future through arts.”

“We want to convey a peaceful, tolerant message, away from extremist activities among youth, nurture the right path of Islam and rejuvenate their minds with Islamic art and culture,” she said, adding: “The festival is a part of the UAE’s social and cultural responsibility and under that cause, we are also restoring the destroyed ancient mosque, the Great Mosque of Al Nuri in Mosul, Iraq.”

“We look forward to seeing Islamic art spreading throughout the UAE and attracting international calibre to this domain,” she said.

The festival featured panel talks on Islamic art and culture, in addition to musical and poetry performances by a Tunisian band, along with an Arabic calligraphy exhibition at the warehouse.

Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al Khalifa, Director General of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiques, said that Islamic art has an inextricable connection with the people of our region and pervades all aspects of their lives, from the buildings they live in to the spaces around them.

She stressed the responsibility of ministries of culture in the region, in preserving the cultural heritage of the Islamic civilisation.

Other speakers at the panel talks included Zaki Anwar Nussaibah, UAE Minister of State. Dr Ines Abdel Dayem, Egypt’s Minister of Culture, also emphasised on the importance of Islamic arts and culture.