Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour picks up Crystal Award at Davos 2019

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Haifaa Al-Mansour, the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia, has received a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum's 2019 meeting in Davos. (Screenshot/WEF)
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Saudi film maker Haifaa Al-Mansour. (Photo: Brigitte Lacombe)
Updated 22 January 2019

Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour picks up Crystal Award at Davos 2019

DAVOS, Switzerland: Haifaa Al-Mansour, the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia, has received a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum's 2019 meeting in Davos for her leadership in cultural transformation in the Arab world. Watch a recap of the award ceremony below:

“Wadjda”, Al-Mansour’s feature debut, was the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a female director.

The success of her 2005 documentary “Women Without Shadows” was a breakthrough that was followed by a new wave of Saudi filmmakers and front-page headlines of Saudi Arabia finally opening cinemas in the Kingdom.

She was recently appointed to the Board of the General Authority for Culture to advise on the development of the cultural and arts sectors in Saudi Arabia.

She recently released “Mary Shelly” starring Elle Fanning, and “Nappily Ever After” starring Sanaa Lathan. Al-Mansour is the first artist from the Arabian Gulf region to be invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In her speech after receiving the award, Al-Mansour reflected on the role her father played in her filmmaker dream, paying homage to the films he showed her as a child.

“Those films made me feel part of a bigger world, they made me love the world. They made me who I am,” Al-Mansour said.

"I wanted to have a voice. I wanted to have a passion. I wanted to be happy," she added.

The other winners of the Crystal Awards at this year's Davos meeting are Marin Alsop, for her leadership in championing diversity in music and legendary broadcaster Sir David Attenborough for his leadership in environmental stewardship.

The Crystal Awards honour exceptional artists and cultural leaders whose important contributions are improving the state of the world and who best represent the “spirit of Davos.”


Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

Updated 28 February 2020

Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

  • OIC secretary-general notes that the organization continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups

JEDDAH: Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen announced on Wednesday that the OIC will adopt the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) after it is revised in accordance with international human-rights standards. The foreign ministers of the OIC member states are expected to approve the CDHRI at their meeting in Niamey, Niger in April.

 Al-Othaimeen was speaking at the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), held in Geneva on Wednesday, where he highlighted some of the efforts the OIC has made to fight racism and xenophobia — including Islamophobia — claiming that they are the result of “intellectual and political resistance to cultural pluralism.”

He said the OIC, in cooperation with its partners, has prepared “a comprehensive and consensual approach to address incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion.”

Al-Othaimeen’s speech, which was delivered on his behalf by OIC Geneva Permanent Representative Nassima Baghli, stressed that terrorism, including religious extremism, is a major source of concern for the international community. He pointed out that the OIC continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups and has established the Sawt Al-Hikma (Voice of Wisdom) Center, which focuses on addressing the ideological rhetoric of extremists.

His speech also reviewed the most common human-rights violations suffered by Muslims, referring to the detailed documentation from the UN’s own human rights bodies and the OIC of discrimination and violence against the Rohingya Muslims.

Al-Othaimeen explained that America’s actions in Palestine in recent months required the OIC to stress that any peace initiative between Israel and Palestine must be consistent with legitimate rights, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.

He also stressed the OIC’s support for Kashmiris in their pursuit of their legitimate right to self-determination in accordance with international resolutions and highlighted the OIC’s condemnation of Armenia’s continued occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven regions bordering Azerbaijan.