Today at the City of Culture in Tunis, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), and Dr. Mohamed Zine El Abidine, Tunisian Minister of Cultural Affairs, held a press conference to announce the programme of the 11th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers and the closing ceremony of the Celebration of Tunis as the Arab region’s Capital of Islamic Culture for 2019.
At the beginning of the press conference, Dr. AlMalik welcomed the journalists and media professionals, thanked H.E. Dr. Zine El Abidine, and commended the cultural activities held as part the celebration of Tunis as Capital of Islamic Culture for 2019. He also expressed his delight for the cultural activities which were not exclusive to Tunis, but also covered most regions of the Republic of Tunisia, while reaffirming that Tunis has given an exemplary model which is hard to compete by the following capitals of Islamic culture.
On his part, Dr. Zine El Abidine thanked ISESCO Director General and commended the cooperation between the Ministry and the Organization, particularly in renewing cultural action.
The Minister also reviewed the most important cultural activities which have been held by the Ministry throughout the year all over Tunisia, standing at 174 thousand activities.
Besides, Dr. Zine El Abidine stressed that the strong cooperation between the Ministry and ISESCO will continue so as to optimally benefit from it throughout the year 2019, while expressing the pride of his country in taking over the presidency of the Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers for the two coming years.
The Minister reiterated his welcome to Dr. AlMalik, the Culture Ministers of Muslim countries and the participating delegations in the 11th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers while wishing every success to this Conference, hosted tomorrow by Tunisia.
Afterwards, the floor was given over to questions and discussions. Replying to a question on the potentials of digital technology in the field of culture, Dr. AlMalik said “the opportunities and challenges are immense in this context. Unless the Muslim countries benefit from such potentials, they would lag behind; which constitutes a serious and irreparable loss.”
Dr. AlMalik added that ISESCO has been aware of this issue and sought to benefit Member States from the immense potentials of digital technology, including the project on ‘Digital culture: opportunities and challenges’, which is submitted to the Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers among other items for consideration.
Responding to a question on the continuity and future of cooperation between the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and ISESCO, Dr. Zine El Abidine replied: “this cooperation is strong and ongoing. It will continue and prosper between the two parties, especially after the concrete efforts to restore the vitality of the Organization with the appointment of Dr. AlMalik as Director General without overlooking the efforts of the former director general, Dr. Abdulaziz Altwaijri.”
Dr. Zine El Abidine also stated that “we believe that citizens are the main and most important target of every cultural activity. Throughout the last three year, we have sought to help citizen appreciate arts, culture and cultural creativity before its practice, and our efforts are still ongoing. ”
The Minister added that “we are glad of our achievements within this framework. We are looking forward to entrenching cultural diversity. In this regard, we have established Tunis International Center for Digital Cultural Economy and agreed with ISESCO Director General to share this vision, which will be considered tomorrow at the 11th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers.”