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10 March 2014 Minister of Culture Receives Aseela Festival Founder
Minister of Culture Receives Aseela Festival Founder

H.E Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Culture, has transformed Bahrain's Ministry of Culture into something resembling a beehive. The ministry has not taken a rest or vacation for the past year. Cultural and artistic activities are ongoing, even during the summer. When reviewing the ministry's annual agenda, you see many diverse activities that display its openness to the Arab world and international cultures. The minister, who came to her post from the field of research and science, has turned Manama into a permanent cultural capital that serves as a bridge between Bahrain and the Gulf, as well as between Bahrain and the Arab world and the West.

This comes as Bahrain will attend the upcoming edition of the Aseela Cultural Festival in Moroccan as a guest of honour. H.E Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Culture, thus, received on 10 March 2014, former Moroccan Foreign Minister and festival founder Mohammed bin Isa to coordinate Bahrain's participation in the event, scheduled to be held on August 8-24.The pan-Arab honour came as Manama celebrates the Year of Art 2014 and the 40th anniversary of the Bahrain annual Fine Arts Expo. In a statement today, H.E Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, Minister of Culture, took pride in choosing Bahrain as guest of honour in the forthcoming Aseela Cultural Festival. Beyond paintings, the Asilah Arts Festival works to encourage cultural dialogue, exchange ideas and promote peace. Guests and speakers include politicians, journalists and writers who exchange ideas and inspire one another to create a global cultural landscape.

During the meeting, H.E Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al Khalifa, Minister of Culture stressed the importance of the event in bolstering cultural exchanges, announcing a rich programme to mark Bahrain's participation in the festival, including fine arts and photo exhibitions. The Ministry of Culture has dedicated this year to Bahraini visual arts, under the title "Our Year of Arts." In her position as minister of culture and someone entrusted to develop the arts in the Kingdom of Bahrain, H.E Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa believes in the ability of beauty to change the world for the better. H.E has launched programs to encourage the youth to discover real talent in the local community, and to take advantage of this talent to shape the features of the future. The Aseela Cultural Festival will also host a group of Bahraini artists specialised in oil paintings, murals and sculpture. The programme also features short documentary films and a book fair and a traditional café as part of the Aseela Cultural Festival. The musical art world is also on display through musicians and dancers. Hands-on workshops are set-up and artists can draw attention to international problems they face in their regions while working with other artists to find sustainable solutions. In the past, the festival has focused on renewable energy and the creation of zero-carbon cities. This year Manama will represent its culture and art; its artists and tangible and intangible magic, screening films and sharing traditional heritage, crafts and publishing programs. Indeed, the Asilah Arts Festival is one of the most important art festivals in Morocco, and reaches many corners of the globe. Asilah's annual cultural festival is well known for the artistic legacy left behind by the murals painted by artists in the medina during the festival. Behind the scenes, there is a greater ongoing regeneration programme to restore the fabric of the medina and to showcase the town to the world. 

Moroccan Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Mohammed Benaïssa commended Bahrain's participation, saying that it would further enrich the festival. He argued that Manama will be welcomed by its Moroccan lovers throughout the venues of the festival, such as the prestigious new cultural centers like the Palace of Culture and the Hassan II Center, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Library, Abdullah Kanoon piazza and many other city streets. He also praised the dynamic cultural atmosphere dominating the scene in Bahrain and its key role to enhance the Arab world culture infrastructure. Worth to mention that Melehi initiated a cultural festival in the city of Asilah that was adapted to Bahrain under the name “Bahrain - Asilah Arts & Culture Forum” in April 2004.

Participation in the 43rd Fine Arts Exhibition Bahrain Map