ICESCO: Culture is Capable of Addressing Identity Conflicts and Countering Extremism and Egocentrism
20 December 2021
Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), emphasized the role of culture in instilling hope and strengthening identities through a positive and dynamic approach, towards addressing identity conflicts in various parts of the world and countering extremism and egocentrism.
This statement was part of his address during the opening of the 22nd Session of the Conference of Ministers Responsible for Cultural Affairs in the Arab World that the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth held, on Sunday, December 19, 2021, in Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO). The Conference brought together several ministers of cultural affairs from Arab countries and representatives of different specialized organizations and bodies.
In his address, Dr. AlMalik highlighted the importance of the conference, held in conjunction with the Arabic Language Summit, under the theme ‘Bridging Cultures, Connecting Civilizations’. “My participation in this conference reflects ICESCO’s endeavor to build solid bridges for cooperation and complementarity with ALECSO and the Member States of the two Organizations. We aim to raise joint cultural action to the Arab peoples’ level of aspiration, and accelerate sustainable development in the Islamic world,” explained ICESCO DG.
Dr. AlMalik reviewed ICESCO’s major cultural programs and initiatives geared towards safeguarding the Islamic world’s culture, heritage and historical treasures, notably the establishment of the Heritage Center adopting international standards and norms in heritage inscription, the creation of the Network of International Chairs for Thought, Letters and Arts in cooperation with universities and research centers. In addition, ICESCO launches the “Roads for the Future” Program, the Contemporary Art Gallery, the International Laboratory for rethinking the world through culture, and the Center for Civilizational Dialogue to address the urgent need for an institution that promotes creative work, coexistence and peace, and fosters international partnership with humanitarian organizations.
At the close of his address, ICESCO DG reaffirmed the Organization’s keenness and commitment to developing strategies promoting heritage, cultural creativity, digital economy, publishing and training, as well as mechanisms to support cultural rights, governance and cultural tourism. “We welcome partnerships with international organizations and take pride in cooperating with ALECSO in areas of common interest,” added Dr. AlMalik.
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