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Programme Of Inaugural Edition Of Al Burda Festival Announced












The UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development today announced the programme of the inaugural edition of Al Burda Festival that looks to position the UAE as a global hub for Islamic art and culture and an incubator for creativity.

Set to run on 14th November, 2018, at Warehouse421 in Abu Dhabi, the event will renew the UAE’s commitment to preserving and promoting Islamic art forms and traditions across the globe while encouraging innovation for the future.

The one-day festival will bring together international calligraphers, designers, poets and artists to exhibit their works, exchange insights and participate in talks and panel discussions that seek to raise awareness about the values and virtues of Islamic art.

At a press conference to announce the festival, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, announced, "The Al Burda Festival celebrates Islamic art and culture to highlight its aesthetics and reinterpret its pillars in a contemporary context. The event seeks to cement the UAE’s position as a cultural hub and an incubator of creative arts in order to reinforce the country’s contribution towards the preservation of artistic heritage and its sustainability for future generations."

She said, "The Al Burda Festival will bring together creative minds to shape the future of Islamic arts through a series of panel discussions, art exhibitions and live shows that initiate dialogue and forge connections among artists from around the world.

"We are confident that the festival will play a pivotal role in engaging the young generation in ambitious artistic projects that leverage new technologies to redefine Islamic art and culture," Al Kaabi said in conclusion.

Sheikh Salem Khalid Al Qassimi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Knowledge Development at the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, announced the details of the programme.

He confirmed that the festival will begin with a welcome note from Al Kaabi discussing significant trends on the future of Islamic art and culture. Following this, the opening plenary session will feature speakers including Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE Minister of State; Inas Abdel Dayem, Minister of Culture of Egypt, and Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Director-General of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiques, who will discuss the future of Islamic Arts and highlight how the creation of partnerships between government, cultural stakeholders and the private sector will shape the future of Islamic Art.

Speakers will include Dr Henry Kim, Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum in Canada; Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel from the UAE; Mona Khazindar, Member of the Board of Directors of the General Culture Authority from Saudi Arabia, and Marina Tabassum, winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture from Bangladesh.

Among the distinguished international guests set to headline the event are Gabo Arora, filmmaker and co-founder of Tomorrow Never Knows from the USA; Anissa Helou, chef and cookbook author from the UK, and Dr Venetia Porter, Assistant Keeper at the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum in the United Kingdom, UK.

Participating art entities will include Bait Al Oud, a UAE-based institute that seeks to restore the role of music as an integral element in the cultural life of the country’s citizens and residents. Among the artists taking centre-stage will be Cairo Steps, an international jazz/world music crossover ensemble consisting of German and Egyptian musicians; Karim Jabbari, Tunisian calligraphy and light artist; Malid, Tunisian poet whose works draw on the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); Wafaa Emad, winner of The Voice Kids from Egypt, and Kuwaiti musician Yousif Yaseen.

The programme will include a ceremony announcing the winners of the 15th edition of Al Burda Award that is poised to draw the participation of renowned Islamic poets, calligraphers and artists from across the globe.

The festival has secured partnerships with an eclectic selection of local and international establishments. UAE-based partners will include Alserkal Avenue, Art Jameel, Bait Al Oud, Bayt Al Qindeel, the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi and Warehouse421. International strategic partners include the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture and Misk Art Institute from Saudi Arabia; the Aga Khan Trust for Culture from Canada; Nuqat from Kuwait; The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and the University of Cambridge from the UK, and Institut du Monde Arabe from France. Abu Dhabi Media, CNN and The National will support the event as media partners.

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