Media Center

25 April 2012 Her Excellency Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa. Minister of Culture participates at a roundtable discussion

The Minister of Culture Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa today took part in the roundtable meeting organised by the Turkish Policy Quarterly newspaper in Istanbul.

The discussions of the meeting focused on the reality of culture in Bahrain and the preservation of national identity. This meeting comes following an article published by the minister in the last edition of the newspaper issued in March related to a number of points on national identity in the current time and efforts towards preserving it. Shared beliefs, values, practices, and memories are the defining elements of collective identity and, as a result, it is easy for a Bahraini to reflect his/herself in accordance with his/her familial circumstances, greater clan, locality, ethnicity, gender, and, when applicable, nationally. This TPQ Roundtable examined also how regional upheaval and the flow of new ideas is affecting the identity and culture debates in the understudied nation of Bahrain. The differences of Bahrain's experience from the Arab Spring countries, the recent reform process, involvement of international actors and Turkey's potential role in the region will also be discussed.

The tragedy of the unrest of 2011 for Bahrain lies in these variances of identity and the understanding of national identity vis-à-vis other senses of self. H.E argued that this turn reflected the deep interest in the kingdom that has an extensive civilization and historical background embedded over 5000 year that was characterized by the multivariate community composition.

These efforts she had indicated were within the framework of rapid development and efforts exerted by the ministry of culture. Shaikha Mai also emphasized the keenness of the Kingdom of Bahrain towards the further development of cultural aspects especially during the reform era of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. It is worth mentioning that the same Turkish quarterly published an article written by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and another article by Irina Bokova Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the role of peace in the technology development era.

Overseeing many cultural activities on the island, the Ministry of Culture engages in cultural exchanges everyday in the hope that audiences can interact with people holding different perspectives; learn from external experiences; and apply those new experiences and ideas in the most appropriate to their needs and interests. Nations are imagined communities as underlying their superficial construct are multiple identities. Our role, at the Ministry of Culture, is simply to enable a dialogue which, in presenting different cultural practices throughout the world and within Bahrain itself, should allow us to reflect on our senses of self and the way forward in the aftermath of this tumultuous experience. During the visit, the Minister of Culture participated at the tourism forum organized by Bursa governor and met with Turkish Prime Minister, Rajeb Tayyeb Erdogan to discuss the bilateral relations between Bahrain and Turkey and the best ways to boost cooperation with regard to culture and tourism.

Participation in the 43rd Fine Arts Exhibition Bahrain Map