Media Center

19 December 2011 Bahrain promotes Manama as Capital of Arab Culture in Rabat, H.E Minister of Culture; promoting Manama in Morocco is crucially important

 Rabat. Villa des Arts, Monday 19 December 2011

In a country where East meets West,  in an open world to others' cultures and knowledge, where the sky is the limit of human and intellectual relations, from the Capital of Arab Culture in 2003, H.E. Culture Minister Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa outlined the programme lined up for "Manama.. Capital of Arab Culture 2012". H.E held a press conference in Rabat to unveil the future plans, in presence of journalists, correspondents of news agencies, critics, thinkers, academicians and diplomats. The press conference is part of a campaign to promote "Manama as the Capital of Arab Culture-2012" in several Arab countries and to identify most inspirational human and philosophical experiences in the Arab world region.

H.E Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khlaifa stressed the importance of Intercultural communication or communication between people of different cultural backgrounds, which  has always been and will probably remain an important precondition of human co-existence on earth. The Minister argued that promoting Manama as the Capital of Arab Culture, 2012, here is crucially important given that Morocco hosted the capital of Arab Culture in 2003. In fact, Morocco has succeeded in showing the world its amazing diversity and a capacity to produce and anchor a cultural identity, revealing an exceptional cultural experience, which is unique in the Arab world. She added that "writings of Moroccan philosophers and the density of the intercultural communication between the people of this country and the European culture and the surrounding civilizations, all have contributed to the formation of a different Moroccan school of thought, a unique intellectual experience and a huge knowledge accumulation worth including among leading general cultures".

Her Excellency has further pointed out that ""Manama, Cultural Capital of the Arab World 2012", nominated after Arab Ministers of culture meeting in Sanaa, Yemen, 2004, in order to enhance the cultural infrastructure in the region, is a project aiming at facilitating communication, exchange between world civilizations and set various cultural forums.

Bahrain has officially announced its plan to celebrate Manama as capital of Arab culture, last October when H.E Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa unveiled a comprehensive plan in celebration of this upcoming event. Cultural activities and world-renowned personalities will come to Manama to participate and witness the birth of culture, of hope and innovation along twelve months, by shedding the lights on twelve intellectual themes; love and differences will be the first to play on stage.   These themes will start with the theme of formation, architecture, design, heritage, museums, poetry, translations, environment, music and theatre. Every month, the Ministry shall invite a group of intellectuals and experts from allover the world. A broad range of activities incorporating different aspects of Arab culture will take place month by month throughout the year, in addition to the forums, conferences, workshops, different cultural competitions every month with a different theme. Moreover, many international books, novels and publications will be translated into Arabic for the first time, with an average of one book every month on a designed theme, ending the year with a dozen translated international publications.   

In addition, to the proposed programme of Manama, as the Capital of Arab Culture, many development and urban projects will be inaugurated adding richness to the social and historical fabric of Bahrain; twelve projects such as the National Theatre, Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage, Al-Khamis Mosque Visitors' Centre, Bani-Jamra Weaving Factory,  Tree of Life Visitors' Centre. Other restoration projects include development of Bab-al-Bahrain, the renovation of the Bahrain Hotel, Museum of Al-Sout (traditional style performer). A number of museum exhibitions will be held in Al-Hidaya al-Khalifia School and Riffa Fort.  
While the Ministry is planning to enhance the cultural scene, it shall not stop, during next year Manama- Arab Capital of Culture, to present its annual cultural events as usual, such as Bahrain Arts Exhibition, Spring of Culture, Bahrain International Book Fair, and Mohammed Al Banki Cultural Personality of the Year Award, Bahrain Summer Festival, Bahrain International Music Festival.

Celebrating Manama as the Capital of Arab Culture in 2012 was announced in Rabat, Morocco. Among those present at the press conference were famous writers and intellectuals from Bahrain; Aqueel Siwar and Youssef Al-Hamdan who stressed the need to communicate with the media in Morocco and strengthen the cultural ties between not only the two friendly countries, but all Arab countries in order to prove that culture is the universal language which all people could speak and understand.

It is worth mentioning that Manama has set out a promotional plan on how to announce the beginning of the cultural programmes and activities in 2012, starting from in Cairo, Paris, Dubai, Algeria during the last two months. Thus, Rabat comes as the last destination ten days before the official beginning of the activities.

Participation in the 43rd Fine Arts Exhibition Bahrain Map