UAE’s Vision for the Advancement of Arab Culture

  • 30 December 2013

The reality of the Arab culture will neither please the enemy nor the friend. Bestsellers in this part of the world do not exceed 5,000 copies even though the number of inhabitants throughout the Arab region amounts to 300 million. This is how His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, described the situation in his speech in honor of the winners of Sheikh Zayed Book Award during its first edition in 2007.

This makes the initiative launched by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) recently a pioneering and an important one. The ECSSR has entered into a cooperation agreement with the Arab TV Producers’ Union (APUTV) to organize ‘The First Arab Pen Forum, Abu Dhabi’ in November 2014. The Forum will bring intellectuals, creative thought leaders and mass media to Abu Dhabi to discuss a range of issues as pointed out by His Excellency, Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director-General of the ECSSR.

The Arab world isn’t making environment conducive for creativity, especially among the youth, which is making the intellectual, cultural and academic body of work slim compared to other countries around the world. As a result, the opportunity to change lives in the region is being missed. This is the reason why H.E. Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi has called the ‘The First Arab Pen Forum, Abu Dhabi’ as the largest and most important project on Arab culture, which will reflect cultural values and the vision guiding it.

The decision to organize this major event also reflects the ECSSR’s role in the service of the Arab community, development-related issues, and the Center’s willingness to contribute to community development and progress by encouraging creativity and thinking. Such an endeavor will support those with talent to use their ideas locally instead of being driven to migrate and causing the Arab world billions of dollars’ worth of brain drain every year.

The introduction of the ‘The First Arab Pen Forum, Abu Dhabi’ will add another feather in the cap of the UAE’s pioneering role in the service of the Arab culture and its support for creativity and open new window to the world in all fields. The cases in point are the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which has become like ‘Arab Nobel Prize’, the ‘Kalima Project for Translation’, which translates masterpieces of foreign language into Arabic, and other plans and initiatives meant to promote Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s position as an international cultural hub for thinkers and creative minds.