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    Official Launch of celebration of Nouakchott as Culture Capital in the Islamic World for 2023

    7 January 2023

    On Friday, 6 January 2023, Nouakchott’s Convention Center (Palais des Congrès) hosted the launch of the city’s celebration as Culture Capital in the Islamic World for 2023 under the auspices and chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Mohamed Ould El Ghazouani, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. This celebration is part of the programme of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) for Culture Capitals in the Islamic World.

    The launching ceremony witnessed the high-level participation of the Mauritanian Prime Minister, members of the government, heads of constitutional and national institutions, ministers of culture, delegations from some ICESCO Member States and a host of academics, thinkers, authors and media professionals.

    The ceremony began with a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, followed by artistic renditions highlighting the Mauritanian heritage, madih and creative performances by schoolchildren.

    At the outset of his address, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG), noted that Nouakchott is deserving of the title of Culture Capital in the Islamic World for 2023 given the valuable contributions of the city and the Mauritanian republic to poetry, literature, fiqh, grammar and morphology, adding that ICESCO will provide full cultural support to the year-long celebration through various activities.

    He reviewed the main cultural activities to be supervised by the Organization throughout the year, most notably those geared towards preserving and valorizing the heritage sites and cultural elements inscribed on ICESCO’s Islamic World Heritage List, contributing to the restoration of several heritage sites and launching the ICESCO Young Poets Forum.

    Dr. AlMalik concluded his address with a poem entitled “The Flower of Cultural Capitals” which he composed on this occasion.

    ICESCO DG then presented Mrs. Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick, President of the Nouakchott region, with the flag of Nouakchott, Culture Capital in the Islamic World for 2023.

    During the ceremony, Mr. Mohamed Ould Sidi Abdallah, Secretary-General of the Mauritanian National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Secretary-General of the Higher Committee supervising the celebration, reviewed the key axes of the celebration’s national programme which features cultural, scientific and educational activities to be implemented in cooperation with ICESCO and which are aimed at highlighting the capital’s cultural richness and diversity.

    Mrs. Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick expressed her delight at the launch of this celebration and stressed that the region has established a specialized committee in charge of promoting Nouakchott’s tangible and intangible heritage in cooperation with all relevant authorities.

    For his part, Dr. Mohamed Ould Amar, Director-General of the Arab Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), indicated that thanks to ICESCO’s outstanding Programme for Culture Capitals in the Islamic World, the celebrated cities will become major cultural destinations.

    In a video-recorded address, Dr. Nevine Al-Kilani, Egyptian Minister of Culture, stated that the selection of Nouakchott as culture capital in the Islamic world for 2023 is an opportunity to internationally promote the city as a major cultural hub.

    In his address, Mr. Mohamed Ould Soueidatt, Minister of Culture, Youth, Sports and Relations with Parliament, Chairman of the Mauritanian National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, noted that the selection of the city as culture capital reflects ICESCO’s recognition of the cultural prominence of both Nouakchott and Mauritania at the regional and international levels.
    Following the ceremony, H.E. Mauritanian President, accompanied by ICESCO DG and senior officials, visited the exhibitions organized as part of the celebration which showcase the Mauritanian heritage.

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