Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s leading international relations and diplomatic institution, today launched Culture Month, an annual initiative that aims to enhance cultural awareness, soft power and tolerance.
Set to take place from 9 April to 9 May, Culture Month will serve as a platform for intercultural exchange and feature an impressive line-up of speakers and activities highlighting the importance of culture in diplomacy as well as the role diplomats play in promoting cultural understanding.
Notable speakers that are confirmed to participate in this high-impact initiative include His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of UAE Unlimited, Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder of Barjeel Art Foundation, Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, His Excellency Dr Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Minister of State, His Excellency Mansour Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Director General of the National Media Council, Her Excellency Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, and Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, among other esteemed guests.
Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Deputy Director General of EDA, said: “Home to over 200 nationalities that live together in harmony, the UAE is one of the world’s few truly international countries with an over 80 per cent expatriate population. Guided by our visionary leadership, our society is based on the principles of peace, tolerance and mutual respect. Here at EDA, we embrace the country’s spirit of openness and inclusiveness. I am confident Culture Month will reinforce the importance of cultural diplomacy among our students and expand their horizons in this field.”
She added: “Following the overwhelming success of last year’s inaugural Culture Week, we have decided to extend this year’s edition into a month-long initiative. In addition to a series of engaging cultural events, we have put together a packed calendar of lectures and thought sessions headlined by distinguished speakers.”
Kicking off Culture Month with a community art workshop for students, EDA will also hold a panel discussion to debate the role of arts and culture in diplomacy on 10 April. The programme will continue with various cultural activities, such as a workshop on traditional Arabic calligraphy, a movie night featuring a screening of an image nation produced documentary, as well as a special screening of ‘My Year With Helen’, held in partnership with the New Zealand Embassy in Abu Dhabi, followed by a Q&A session with Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. EDA students will also visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
Throughout Culture Month, the Academy will host art exhibitions showcasing a number of local and international artists in collaboration with FN Design. The Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council will also perform live crafts demonstrations to visitors at various times during Culture Month.
One of the highlights of the programme will be a visit to Wahat Al Karama memorial site on 6 May – the 100th birth anniversary of the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – accompanied by a lecture on the important milestones in the history of the UAE. Culture Month will conclude with a quiz night on 9 May.