Middle East’s ‘cultural Davos’ summit to tackle global challenges

Updated 05 April 2019
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Middle East’s ‘cultural Davos’ summit to tackle global challenges

  • The high-profile Culture Summit begins on April 7 in the UAE capital
  • Curators, creative minds, global artists and heritage experts from 90 nations attending

ABU DHABI: An international arts summit being dubbed the “cultural Davos of the Middle East” is set to open with the aim of tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the world.

Curators, creative minds, global artists and heritage experts from 90 nations will gather on Sunday for the high-profile Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, under the theme “cultural responsibility and new technology.”

Through a series of panels, dance and musical performances, and workshops, conference delegates will look to identify ways in which culture can build bridges and promote positive change in global society.

The UAE capital will be hosting the five-day event for the third time, with the 2019 edition seeing an array of new global partners taking part including Google, UNESCO, the Guggenheim, The Economist magazine and the UK’s Royal Academy of Arts.

Mohamed Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, said the summit aimed to progress “great strides” made over the last two years.

“The programs will examine how the cultural forces of arts, heritage, media and technology can be used to incite tangible positive change in the context of our increasingly globalized and rapidly changing society.

“The summit will cover some of the cultural sector’s most pressing issues, exploring topics that affect us all — from how we see the world around us to how we are allowed to express ourselves; from the true impact of technology on our lives to ways of safeguarding and preserving culture in times of conflict,” added Al-Mubarak.

Topics on the summit agenda will include risks for cultural heritage in the Middle East, South America and Africa; how information technology is changing society; and the role of museums in shaping the future of culture.

Although invitation-only, the public will be able to watch performances and panel discussions via live streaming links.


Hoda Barakat wins Arab Booker for ‘The Night Mail’

Updated 24 April 2019
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Hoda Barakat wins Arab Booker for ‘The Night Mail’

  • The author will receive a prize of $50,000 for her winning novel “The Night Mail”
  • The book includes a series of letters from individuals who are facing social and personal issues

ABU DHABI: Lebanese author Hoda Barakat has won the Booker international prize for Arabic fiction for her novel “The Night Mail.”
She will receive $50,000 and the five other authors who reached the final short-list will each receive $10,000, the organizers revealed late Tuesday.
Conceived in Abu Dhabi in 2007, the prize is supported by the Booker Prize Foundation in London and financed by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism.
Born in Beirut, Hoda Barakat lives in Paris and has published several novels including “The Stone of Laughter” and “My Master and My Lover.”
“The Night Mail” is her sixth novel and has been translated into French.
Alongside the prize money, funds will also be provided for translating the book into English.
The novel consists of a series of letters by individuals “facing social misery and their own demons,” according to publisher Actes Sud.
Abu Dhabi, capital of the emirate of the same name, has become an increasingly significant cultural hub.
The city hosts the Louvre Abu Dhabi — the first museum to take the name “Louvre” outside France — which houses nearly 600 works in a futuristic building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.