** AlMalik, Zine El Abidine and a number of figures honored at the City of Culture in Tunis
** Bamako as the African region’s Capital of Islamic Culture… and Bukhara for the Asian region
During a special ceremony held in the City of Culture in Tunis, the Celebration of Tunis as the Arab region’s Capital of Islamic Culture for 2019 closed with the proclamation of Cairo as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2020. Bukhara, Republic of Uzbekistan, will be the Asian region’s Capital of Islamic Culture for 2020 after Bandar Seri Begawan, Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam. As for the African region, Bamako, Republic of Mali, will be the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2020 succeeding Bissau, Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
The ceremony, held yesterday in the wake of the 11th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers (ICCM) and attended by the members of the delegations participating in the Conference, started with an address by Dr. Mohamed Zine El Abidine, Tunisian Minister of Cultural Affairs, wherein he indicated that the Celebration of Tunis as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2019 was held concurrently with the 40th anniversary of its inscription on UNESCO World Heritage List.
Dr. Zine El Abidine also thanked ISESCO for its substantial cooperation to make this one-year-long event successful. “The event was not exclusive to Tunis, but also covered all the Tunisian cities and regions. It was an exceptional year by all measures”, he added.
Afterwards, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ISESCO Director General, gave an address wherein he thanked the Tunisian President, Mr. Kais Saied, for his patronage of the Conference, and commended the great attention paid by the Tunisian Government to the programme of the activities implemented as part of the Celebration.
Besides, Dr. AlMalik highlighted that ISESCO aimed, through the launch of the Programme of the Capitals of Islamic Culture and the choice of Makkah Al-Mukarramah in 2005 as the first Capital of Islamic Culture to inaugurate this great civilizational project, to promote joint cultural action and cultural development among states, achieve civilizational outreach, and export the enlightening Islamic culture.
Dr. AlMalik also reaffirmed that the Celebration of Tunis as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2019 is a recognition of its cultural heritage and civilization contribution thanks to its cultural and religious monuments and landmarks bearing witness to its long-standing heritage and the uniqueness of its people and human heritage.
Afterwards, the ceremony honored Dr. AlMalik in appreciation of his efforts to ensure the success of the Conference and the Celebration. Dr. Zine El Abidine presented him with the Shield of the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
Mr. Mohamed Ghemari, Director of the Secretariat of the General Conference, Executive Council and Specialized Conferences at ISESCO, was also honored for his collaboration toward the success of the Conference and received the Shield of the Ministry.
Besides, Dr. Zine El Abidine was presented with as shield by Dr. AlMalik. The other figures honored during this ceremony are Dr. Faisal bin Mohamed Saleh, Sudanese Minister of Culture, President of the 10th session of the Conference; Dr. Taïeb Baccouche, Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union; Dr. Hatem Ben Salem, Minister of Education and Acting Minister of Higher Education; Mr. Ahmed Adhoum, Tunisian Minister of Religious Affairs; Mr. Chadli Bouallag, Governor of Tunis; and Dr. Hayat Qatat Al-Qurmazi, Director of Culture at ALECSO.
Afterwards, the head of delegations of the countries, whose capitals were celebrated in 2019, passed the torch of Islamic Culture Capitals to their counterparts whose capitals will be celebrated in 2020. Then, the participants attended a show presented by the Tunisian Orchestra.