Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), noted that the Organization has redesigned its Programme for Culture Capitals in the Islamic World to modernize the concept of culture capitals. He emphasized ICESCO’s determination to make every capital’s celebration a cultural work that is consistent with the requirements of the cultural industry and capable of making a cultural difference through intelligent harmony between authenticity and modernization.
This statement was part of his address on the closing ceremony of the celebration of Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World for 2021, which took place on Thursday, January 20, 2022, during the 31st Doha International Book Fair, in the presence of Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatari Minister of Culture, along with several representatives of the ministries of culture in the Islamic worlds and the participating parties in the celebration’s activities, which lasted throughout 2021, under the theme “Our Culture is Light.”
Dr. AlMalik began his address by noting that the ceremony closes an entire year of bright and creative activities, in which Doha was well received and welcomed as a culture capital. He thanked His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, for placing the celebration under his high patronage and for his interest, diligence and guidance.
He added that the celebration’s theme (Our Culture is Light) indicates the Islamic world’s substantive contribution to civilization and that the celebration’s activities reflect high-quality planning and implementation and translate the values of partnership, cooperation and synergy among several institutions, congratulating all who have contributed to the success of the celebration.
ICESCO DG stressed that the programs of the celebration of Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World for 2021, succeeded in promoting Doha as a long-standing civilizational and cultural landmark and emphasizing the uniqueness of the Islamic civilization. “The celebration programs fostered cultural cooperation among the units of the Islamic world, encouraged us to pursue the approach of great human openness, and expanded our concept of culture to include fields relating to youth, women, children and persons with special needs,” added ICESCO DG.
In his address during the ceremony, Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatari Minister of Culture, noted that the diversified activities of the celebration were well attended despite the COVID-19 pandemic. He also emphasized the pivotal role of culture in achieving economic development and prosperity.
“The programs and activities that were organized throughout the year reflected the richness of the State of Qatar. They contributed to promoting positive interaction among creative thinkers and intellectuals, strengthening cultural identity and building bridges of closeness and communication with the cultures of the Islamic world,” added the Qatari Minister.
The celebration included the screening of a video highlighting the major activities and programs organized as part of the celebration of Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World for 2021, followed by a singing performance, then a musical show.
In conclusion, the Qatari Minister of Culture honored the ICESCO DG in appreciation of the Organization’s efforts and contribution to the success of the celebration of Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World for 2021. The participating entities, bodies and sponsors were also honored.