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Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Releases Arab Thought Foundation’s 2nd Cultural Development Report

posted on: Dec 10, 2009

Chairman of the Arab Thought Foundation (ATF) Prince Khaled Al-Faisal along with Dr. Mudhi Al-Humoud, the Minister of Education and Higher Education in Kuwait and Mr. Bader Sayed Abdel Wahab Al Rifai, the Chairman of the Kuwait National Council of Culture, Art and Literature launched the second report on cultural development.

Unveiling the report in a news conference on the sidelines of the Fikr 8 Conference, Al-Faisal said :”The Arab cultural institutions ordered more copies of the report which prepared the ground for a genuine civilization in the Arab world,”

The annual conference of the Arab Thought foundation, FIKR8 under the title – “Integrating Arab Economies: Partnering For Prosperity” which was inaugurated and is being held under the auspices of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and chaired by His Highness Prince Khalid Bin Faisal Al-Abdul Aziz is taking place in Kuwait from December 9-10, 2009 at the Arraya Hall of Courtyard Marriott.

Al-Faisal praised the growing role of the Arab media outlets in the project for cultural development.

He attributed the success of the first report to the sincere efforts made by the ATF board of trustees and advisory board as well as the cooperation partners.

The report contains a preface by Prince Khalid saying that the “dream of every Arab is a legitimate right to a nation contributing to human civilization.”

“The realization of the dream should emerge from a project of enlightenment, culture and knowledge with its method science and in-depth objective reading,” the preface reads.

The report focuses on the fundamental elements of cultural developments, and is the outcome of a year’s work by a team formed of Saleh Al-Adhl, former president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology; Muhammad Salmawi, Secretary General of the Arabs Writers Union; Lebanese writer Al-Eais Sehab; Ziyad Abdullah Al-Drais, the Kingdom’s Ambassador to UNESCO; Muhammad Al-Remahi, Editor-in-Chief of Kuwaiti On Line; Abdullah Al-Najar, President of the Arab Foundation for Science and Technology; Iraqi playwright Jawad Al-Assdi, and Syrian critic Ali Ugla Ersan.

It is the first time that the report is covering the state of cultural development in 20 Arab countries. The Arab Report on Cultural Development, according to the foundation, aims to provide decision and policy-makers in the cultural field with data, statistics and insights through a yearly report “collecting and analyzing the components of the economy of knowledge” and “shedding light on the actual cultural development in the Arab world as on cultural production tools in areas such as the media, artistic and literature creativity, and book publication flow, education, scientific research, and information technology.”

The report has evolved from a cultural development survey that characterized last year’s report; a more meaningful discussion of the most pressing issues and trends in the Arab world during the year 2008. The Education section in this year’s report addresses the issues of funding and the independent management in higher education; the second section addresses Information as a lever for Cultural Development; and the third section of the report had been allocated to address the cultural discourse within the media.

In addition, the report is on Creativity in various forms (literary, creative and dramatic film, as well as theater). The fifth section is entitled ‘Annual Intellectual Summary’ which looks at the most important issues and phenomena that captured the Arab imagination over the past year, either through conferences, forums and symposiums, as well as through the monitoring of questions raised by cultural and intellectual Arabic periodicals.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr. Moudhi Abdulaziz Al-Humoud said her country takes pride in hosting the Eighth Conference of the Arab Thought Foundation.

“Kuwait believes in the ATF message and pins hopes on the foundation to realize the targets of Arab cultural development,” she told reporters.
“Kuwait backs the ATF efforts to modernize the educational curriculums through an integrated perspective,” Dr. Al-Humoud affirmed.

On his part, Secretary General of Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) Bader Al-Refa’ei praised ATF’s second report as “practical, smart and profound.” “The report raised profound questions about the cultural advancement particularly as per informatics,” he said, noting that information technology constitutes leverage of development.

“It deals with a host of cultural topics relating to creativity including cinema and film festivals in a practical way,” Al-Refa’ei added.

The Arab Thought Foundation, which is an initiative for a voluntary cultural action aiming to revive the intellectual and developmental powers in the Arab world, based upon its faith in the social responsibility of money, and in a desire to set an objective diagnosis of the actual Arab cultural situation in a move towards the future, consistently with its appeal to galvanize efforts to the service of the Arab nation, launched its project “The First Arab Report on Cultural Development”. The aim of this project was to provide decision and policy makers in the cultural field with data, statistics and insights, by publishing a yearly report dedicated to collecting and analyzing the components of the economy of knowledge, shedding light on the actual cultural development in the Arab world and on cultural production tools in areas such as the media, artistic and literature creativity, and book publication flow, education, scientific research, information technology, and setting a map featuring the different Arab cultural institutions in different areas.

The Arab Thought Foundation hopes to contribute in an action that relies on an objective collection of data, a systematic analysis of the volume of their bestowal, as on their development itinerary in the cultural domain, in time where culture has become one of the sustainable development component, and the human umbrella that absorbs all the cultural specificities of the people in parallel with the values of the modern human advancement.

Global Arab Network