BAHRAIN: Shaikha Mai : Culture is not limited to only one country or one region, but rather based on interaction with the other, dialogue between peoples

Paris, Nov 30 (BNA) In promoting Bahrain as a hub of culture set to host the biggest range of cultural events next year, H.E Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al-Khalifa has announced in a press conference, held in Paris, a broad raft of programmes and events that will be held throughout a whole year of dialogue among civilizations, culture and knowledge exchange to celebrate the Bahraini capital, "Manama, as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World 2012". The Ministry chose Paris as a destination to promote its programmes in recognition of its central cultural role in the Western world, its interaction with the Orient and its inspiration of many world cultures and civilizations.
Indeed, Paris is considered the cultural centre of the world, where most of prominent literary publications, intellectual items, historical and modern achievements are master-minded. Speaking at a press conference held in the Arab World Institute, H.E Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad al-Khalifa, Minister of Culture, has expressed her desire to achieve an efficient cultural exchange with all because she firmly believes that culture is not limited to only one country or one region, but rather based on interaction with the other, dialogue between peoples and civilizations. The Minister went to say that "Paris is not only the capital of culture and creativity, but also an inspiration for other cultures and to describe how beautiful it would be to continue this historical relationship between Bahrain and France through cultural and intellectual considerations, which would deeply anchor ties between both countries and inspire innovative aspects of the intellectual scene".

Her Excellency has further pointed out that "Manama, Cultural Capital of the Arab World 2012", nominated after the Arab Ministers of Culture meeting in Sanaa, Yemen, 2004, in order to enhance the cultural infrastructure in the region, is a project aiming at facilitating communication, exchange between world civilizations and setting various cultural forums. The Ministry of Culture, in celebration of Manama as capital of culture, has deployed strenuous efforts to update the cultural accumulation and to enhance different data, by shedding light on twelve intellectual themes. These themes will start with the theme of formation, architecture, design, heritage, museums, poetry, translations, environment, music and theatre. Every month, the Ministry shall invite a group of intellectuals and experts from all over the world. A broad range of activities incorporating different aspects of Arab culture will take place month by month throughout the year, in addition to the forums, conferences, workshops, different cultural competitions every month with a different theme. Moreover, many international books, novels and publications will be translated into Arabic for the first time, with an average of one book every month on a designed theme, ending the year with a dozen translated international publications.
Hence, according to the proposed programme of Manama, as the Capital of Arab Culture, many development and urban projects will be inaugurated, adding richness to the social and historical fabric of Bahrain; twelve projects such as the National Theatre, Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage, Al-Khamis Mosque Visitors' Centre, Bani-Jamra Weaving Factory, Tree of Life Visitors' Centre. Other restoration projects include development of Bab-al-Bahrain, the renovation of the Bahrain Hotel, and Museum of Al-Sout (traditional style performer). A number of museum exhibitions will be held in Al-Hidaya al-Khalifia School and Riffa Fort.
While the Ministry is planning to enhance the cultural scene, it shall not stop, during next year Manama- Arab Capital of Culture, to present its annual cultural events as usual, such as Bahrain Arts Exhibition, Spring of Culture, Bahrain International Book Fair, and Mohammed Al Banki Cultural Personality of the Year Award, Bahrain Summer Festival, Bahrain International Music Festival.
It is worth mentioning that Bahrain's Ministry of Culture has launched a promotional campaign to celebrate Manama as the Capital of Arab Culture in 2012 in a number of capitals and cities around the world, starting with Cairo, mid- November 2011. Other events and conferences shall continue to be held in other world capitals until the middle of this coming December, in preparation for the start of a cultural year in Manama , next January, 2012.