A big celebration of Islamic art and culture is set to be held in Abu Dhabi - on the most fitting day next month: It will be coinciding with the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), or the occasion of Al Mawlid Al Nabawi, officials announced on Tuesday.
Organised by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Al Burda Festival will showcase the fruit of collaborations among people of different nationalities, bound together by their goal of helping people understand the Islamic religion.
Also read: Holiday for Prophet (PBUH)'s birthday
"As a nation (that believes) in promoting cultural and artistic dialogue, the UAE is launching this edition of Al Burda Festival as a new platform to cultivate Islamic creativity," said Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.
It is a special celebration where artists, creative thinkers and leaders come together to bring out the beauty of Islam.
There will be art exhibitions, a series of festivities and a dynamic programme for all. Officials will announce the exact dates shortly.
"Since its inception, Al Burda has grown as an initiative that champions Islamic art and culture, encompassing both classical and contemporary styles.
"We have adopted an interdisciplinary approach, inviting the creative community to experience the unique intersection of culture, art and design," Al Kaabi said on Tuesday during the announcement of the event's details.
"Al Burda is a testament to our leadership's commitment to building a greater understanding of our shared culture," the minister added.
Ten artists, who received a grant last year, will be presenting their works in the Al Burda Endowment exhibition.
Among them are Emirati artists Aljoud Lootah, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Khalid Al Banna and Ammar Al Attar; Saudis Dana Awartani and Nasser Al Salem; as well as Aisha Khalid from Pakistan; Zoulikha Bouabdella from Algeria; Fatima Uzdenova from Russia; and Stanley Siu from Hong Kong.
Their masterpieces will also be part of Abu Dhabi Art on November 21.
Emirati artist Lootah, 36, said she came from a family with a common practice of Islamic culture and, growing up, she had been surrounded by its striking geometries.
Now, in her work, she focuses on creating elements that can be relevant in today's world.
"Through Islamic artworks, we can raise awareness of the Islamic religion and educate others about its values of peace and love," Lootah told Khaleej Times.
"The artworks I will showcase at Al Burda Festival will be interactive and will be made from natural materials. It will evolve around constellation and inspired by Quran verses."
Being a recipient of the Al Burda endowment, Lootah is grateful for the support, saying such programmes truly help artists expand their work.
Officials confirmed that this celebration of Islamic culture shall become an annual event that will be held across the UAE on the occasion of the Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) birthday.
The mission of Al Burda festival
Launched in 2004, Al Burda is an international initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development that aims to foster creativity and raise awareness about Islamic art and culture.
It brings together creative leaders and personalities from around the globe to collaborate, exchange insights, and share ideas.
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