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

Updated 05 April 2019
0

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.


Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy land

Updated 18 July 2019
0

Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy land

  • Authorities estimate the mosquer dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries
  • Rare to find house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers

RAHAT, Israel: Archaeologists in Israel have discovered the remains of one of the world’s oldest rural mosques, built around the time Islam arrived in the holy land, they said on Thursday.
The Israel Antiquities Authority estimates that the mosque, uncovered ahead of new construction in the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert, dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries.
There are large mosques known to be from that period in Jerusalem and in Makkah but it is rare to find a house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers, the antiquities authority said.
Excavated at the site were the remains of an open-air mosque — a rectangular building, about the size of a single-car garage, with a prayer niche facing south toward Makkah.
“This is one of the earliest mosques known from the beginning of the arrival of Islam in Israel, after the Arab conquest of 636 C.E.,” said Gideon Avni of the antiquities authority.
“The discovery of the village and the mosque in its vicinity are a significant contribution to the study of the history of the country during this turbulent period.”