Sharjah: The King Sejong Institute, South Korea’s premier language and culture centre, has opened doors in Sharjah.
The Department of Government Relations (DGR) in Sharjah announced on Tuesday the King Sejong Institute — the official Institute for learning Korean language and Korean culture — has established its new based in the Sharjah. .
An official ceremony was hele at Sharjah’s iconic House of Wisdom, in the presence of Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of DGR; Sheikh Majid Abdullah Al Qasimi, Managing Director of DGR; Lee Hai Young, President of the King Sejong Institute Foundation; Moon Byung-Jun, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai; Abdalla Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City, and the heads of the King Sejong Institute branches from around the world.
During the ceremony, Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi and Lee Hai Young signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to officiate their commitment to promoting deeper cultural exchange and fostering a stronger multi-sectoral partnership between South Korea and Sharjah.
The King Sejong Institute will be based within the vibrant premises of Sharjah’s University City, and starting September, will welcome members of all age groups from across Sharjah and the UAE to enrol in a variety of language courses taught by qualified teachers. They can also take part in expert-led cultural events and intellectual discussions designed to cater to varied interests and skill sets.
The institute will also serve as a platform for hosting key cultural and literary exchanges between the UAE and South Korea, and diversify learning and development opportunities in various fields.
Long-standing diplomatic, cultural ties
Sheikh Fahim described the occasion as a step towards deepening the long-standing diplomatic, cultural, and business relations between the UAE and South Korea for over 40 years. He highlighted the deep admiration and curiosity of the Emirati and expat community towards Korea’s rich heritage, stating that the institute marks a new chapter in broadening the horizons of their friendship.
Expanding on this the Chairman of DGR noted: “Sharjah’s cultural importance to the UAE and the region cannot be overemphasised, and among the emirate’s biggest cultural successes is the way our city has realised the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Mohammed AlQasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler Of Sharjah, to build strong cultural bridges with numerous cities around the world. This new endeavour reflects the openness we want to share with our cultural counterparts from South Korea, enabling both parties a chance to learn about each other and connect at a level that will lead to the creation of meaningful partnership opportunities for both sides.”
Lee Hai Young, President of the King Sejong Institute, welcomed bringing the institute to Sharjah, adding: “The centre plays a vital role in promoting the Korean language and culture worldwide, with 244 branches in 84 countries and although we started with just 740 students, we now enrich over 17,000 students with Korean culture around the world. The establishment of a branch in Sharjah underscores the institute’s dedication to fostering cultural exchange and promoting the rich heritage of Korea globally.”
Moon Byung-Jun, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai remarked: “This marks an important milestone in the cultural exchange between the UAE and South Korea. This institute will not only serve as a platform for learning the Korean language and culture but also contribute to strengthening the bonds of friendship and understanding between our nations.”
The King Sejong Institute, operated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, plays a vital role in promoting the Korean language and culture. Established in 2007, it is named after Sejong the Great, who created the Korean alphabet, Hangul, and supported important research in philosophy, science, arts, music, medicine, and agriculture. The institute organises cultural events to introduce students to Korean culture and competitions to encourage them to speak and write in the Korean language The establishment of a branch in Sharjah comes in line with the emirate’s vision to further advance its educational and creative sectors and build cultural bridges with countries and nations around the world.