Saudi Arabia committed to supporting culture, creative industries, says official
Saudi Arabia is committed to cooperating with Arab countries to support cultural and creative industries, and to enhance the role of culture in achieving sustainable development goals, a government minister said on Sunday.
“Culture forms an essential component of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and from here it is committed to cooperating with ALESCO (Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization) and member states,” Saudi Deputy Minister of Culture Hamid bin Mohammed Fayez said.
He was speaking during the 22nd edition of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers in Dubai, a two-day event organized by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth in collaboration with ALECSO, and with the presence of 18 ministers in charge of cultural affairs in the Arab world.
Speaking on behalf of Minister of Culture Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Fayez thanked the UAE Minister of Culture and Youth Noura Al Kaabi and the president of the current session of the conference for hosting the meeting. He said that the Kingdom appreciated the efforts made by the ALECSO team, led by the organization’s director-general.
He added that the Kingdom appreciated the member states’ commitment to continue the cultural discussion within ALECSO’s framework, and commended the efforts of the team charged with reviewing and updating the comprehensive plan for Arab culture to help guide member states in setting cultural policies and plans.
Fayez said the Kingdom was proud to hold the presidency of the organization’s executive council, “as we look forward to contributing to achieving common strategic goals.”
He added that his country was keen to cooperate with member states to enhance efforts to preserve knowledge, skills and practices related to heritage while supporting educational institutions, associations and sectors, training and research, and contributing to supporting international organizations, especially in light of the Kingdom’s election as vice-chairman of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.
“In this regard, we value the efforts of the working group (the five-year roadmap for the joint Arab intangible heritage issues),” Fayes said, hailing the success of the joint efforts to register Arabic calligraphy in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List as a common cultural element.
He also said the Kingdom was ready to host the next Arab culture ministers conference at its next session.
Delegates at the conference discussed various aspects of cultural reality in the Arab world, ways of cooperation in the fields of culture, heritage and the
Arabic language. They also covered the need to unify Arab efforts to develop the cultural and creative industries system, and strengthening international cooperation internationally, especially in registering intangible heritage at UNESCO.
Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the religious reform movement, which occupies a prominent place on the Arab cultural agenda, is a comprehensive issue that requires courageous dialogue in which everyone should participate “to break the state of domination that some tried to impose in the name of religion.”
In his speech, Gheit addressed the concept of the nation state as the only political and cultural project that preserves the stability of societies.
He stressed the importance of openness of Arab culture and its communication with other cultures to keep pace with the developments of global thought, by raising the level of scientific production, accelerating the translation movement and enhancing Arabic digital content.