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Posted On: 1 February 2009 09:14 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Doha ‘ready to be capital of Arab culture’

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THE Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, HE Dr Hamad bin Abdul Aziz al-Kuwari stressed that Qatar is prepared to celebrate Doha as capital of Arab Culture in 2010. Dr al-Kuwari, who was speaking in an interview in the monthly TV programme Lakom Al Qarar TV broadcast yesterday by Qatar TV, said that Qatar has a sufficient cultural infrastructure enabling it to be the capital of the Arab culture in 2010. “Qatar today is not the same Qatar that was ten years ago. We have now the Museum of Islamic Art which will be a source of enlightenment and culture. We also have the Cultural District which includes a big Roman Theatre, an opera house, and an integrated musical institute. Also Souq Waqif is a major attraction which has turned into a cultural centre showcasing the Qatari culture from all aspects,” he said. The Arab capital of culture is an initiative made by the Unesco under the cultural capital programme to promote and celebrate Arab culture and encourage cultural co-operation in the Arab region. Dr al-Kuwari added that a committee has been formed to discuss the preparations for celebrating Doha as the Arab capital of culture in 2010. At the end of the episode, a majority of 66% of the audience voted against the motion: ‘Is Qatar ready to celebrate Doha as the capital of Arab culture in 2010’. About the decision to delay the Doha cultural festival 2009, the official dismissed that the delay is due to recent Israeli attack on Gaza, saying that his ministry is currently “assessing the previous rounds and trying to highlight the “Jerusalem is the capital of Arab culture 2009 as part of the main functions of the festival.” “The delay was mainly due to an assessment process. We are changing some programmes to give the local and Arab functions a bigger share. It was clear that the local and Arab functions were overshadowed by the foreign ones in the previous rounds of the festival,” he added. The official admitted that the Arabic language is facing a “serious threat” in the Gulf states, saying that the citizens of these countries had become a minority. “One can hardly find families speaking Arabic in their houses. I hope that we can launch a national plan to preserve our language form the intellectual invasion,” he said. He revealed that his ministry would organise a new festival titled ‘Freedom and creation’, which he said, will include arts linked to freedom. He also hailed the efforts of HH Sheikh Mozaha Nasser al-Misnad to protect the Gulf youths against the offensive satellite TV channels.