Use of Arabic cultural arts bring greater peace and understanding
The UNESCO ‘Artist for Peace’ and ‘Arab Culture Prize’ winner Ali Mahdi has demonstrated that theatre has an invaluable role to play
in promoting dialogue and supporting peacekeeping processes, as well as showing the world the value of Arabic cultural arts.
In an area of the world that has been deeply affected by conflict, the Sudanese actor and theatre director Ali Mahdi has not only managed to bring happiness, but also hope and inspiration through the mediums of drama, dance and music.
Indeed through his work as Director of the SOS Children’s Villages Sudan project, Mr. Mahdi has proved that theatre can be a tool for conflict resolution and a place for rebuilding and renewal.
Over the last decade, Mr. Mahdi’s project has toured the conflict affected areas of Sudan, showing that exposure to theatre, as well as to culture in general, is a powerful ally in reconstructing the dreams and restoring the confidence of children affected by tragic situations.
Thanks to this inspiring work, in October 2012 Mr. Mahdi was officially designated the UNESCO Artist For Peace for a two-year period during an official ceremony held in Paris, following in the footsteps of world-famous stars such as Canadian singer Celine Dion, who was a previous recipient of the award.