Abu Dhabi: Under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE has launched Andalusia: History and Civilisation initiative, showcasing the country’s commitment to fostering openness, cultural convergence, and interfaith dialogue. Organized by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre and the National Library and Archives, the six-month initiative aims to shed light on the rich Andalusian civilization and strengthen the existing ties between the UAE and Spain.
The initiative will feature a range of cultural and artistic activities designed to highlight the Arab civilization that thrived in Andalusia and promote values of dialogue, tolerance, openness, and coexistence. One of the main events will be an exhibition of Andalusian art holdings, hosted by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre from November 2023 for six months. Additionally, two cultural seminars involving specialists and scholars in Andalusian studies will take place, covering various cultural, literary, and scientific disciplines.
Mr. Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of the “Andalusia: History and Civilisation” Initiative Committee, stated that, “The launch of the initiative comes within the official interest of the UAE in the human heritage wherever it is, which comes through this serious participation that aims at preserving and restoring, introducing, and disseminating it globally, in addition to the fact that the initiative, in its essence, is an invitation to the general public to get acquainted with the components of one of the greatest Arab historical eras, and to educate new generations with the Andalusian civilisation in its human, cultural and scientific heritage, as well as to highlight and uphold the culture of coexistence and tolerance.”
The UAE and Spain will jointly organize forums, with Spain hosting the first forum in September 2023 and the UAE hosting the second forum in February 2024. These forums will provide a platform for intellectual discussions and exchanges between experts in Andalusian history and culture. The initiative will also feature artistic performances, including Andalusian stanzas (Muwashshahas), symphony orchestras, flamenco, and Arabic and Spanish melodies.
Andalusia: History and Civilisation initiative aims to promote values of tolerance and coexistence, inviting both local and international communities interested in Andalusian art, history, and architecture to explore one of the most significant historical eras shared between Arabs and Spain. By translating and republishing important sources of Andalusian heritage in Arabic, the initiative seeks to enhance knowledge of this unique civilization and facilitate cultural and civilizational exchange.
This initiative serves as a global cultural mission led by the UAE to highlight the Andalusian heritage and its intellectual legacy while emphasizing the enduring cultural ties between Arabs and Spaniards. It represents a remarkable effort to showcase the depth of Arab-Spanish relations and their significance in the realm of cultural collaboration and mutual understanding.