MADRID, 15th September, 2023 (WAM) — The two-day ‘Andalusia: A Crossroads of Civilization and Culture’ symposium, organised as part of the ‘Andalusia: History and Civilization’ Initiative and under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, concluded today in Madrid, Spain.
The initiative presented a significant platform to illuminate the rich history of the Arab civilization and highlighted a unique era that impacted the entire human civilization, in line with the UAE’s endeavours to promote the values of tolerance and coexistence.
In his speech during the opening session, Mohammed Al-Murr, Chairman of the ‘Andalusia: History and Civilization’ Initiative Committee, expressed the significance of this event in celebrating the cultural and historical legacy of the unique Andalusian civilization. “This symposium perfectly aligns with the UAE’s dedication to fostering cultural dialogue and meaningful exchanges among diverse civilizations, reflecting our dedication to initiating and sustaining cultural initiatives and programmes that embody the principles of tolerance and coexistence,” he said.
Al-Murr said that the project comprises a diverse array of captivating displays, enlightening symposiums, and various artistic and cultural events held both in the UAE and Spain, adding these events are dedicated to raising awareness about the Arab civilization in Andalusia and its enduring cultural and historical legacy.
Omar Obaid Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, praised the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, of the ‘Andalusia – History and Civilization’ initiative. “The event has a significant cultural impact on Spanish experts in the cultural sector who participated in the initiative, highlighting the historical and cultural ties between the Spanish Kingdom and Arab history,” he said.
Al Shamsi also underscored the importance of such cultural events in building bridges between societies through shared cultural heritage and acknowledged the presence of diplomats, academics, and cultural and media figures.
The event welcomed distinguished guests, including Areej Mahmoud Saleh Hawamdeh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Jordan to Spain; Khalifa M. Kh. H. Alkhorafi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kuwait to Spain; Omar bin Said Al Kathiri, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Oman to Spain; Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al-Hamar, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Qatar to Spain; Aws Abdullah Ahmed Alaud, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Yemen to Spain and the Ambassador of the Arab League to Spain, Malek Twal, and Irene Lozano, Director of the Arabic House in Madrid, among other experts in the field.
The first session of the symposium, titled ‘Andalusian Society and Cultural Mixing’, featured Dr. María Jesús Viguera-Molins from The Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). She commended the Initiative Committee for organising the event and underscored the essence of Andalusia as a historical nexus where civilizations and cultures converged. Dr. Viguera-Molins emphasised how Andalusia received cultural contributions from both Western and Eastern civilizations during its golden era.
On the second day, the symposium explored the theme ‘Translation and its Role in Cultural and Civilizational Communication’. This covered various topics – including ‘The Role of Arabic Translation in Introducing Greek Heritage’, ‘The School of Toledo Translators and its Role in Transferring Arabic Heritage’, the ‘Andalusian Model in the Arab-European and Global Dialogue’, and ‘The Activity of Modern Spanish Translation on Andalusian Literature’.
Dr. Rafael Ramón Guerrero, Complutense University in Madrid; Dr. Ignatio Sanchez, Warwick University, United Kingdom; Emilio González Verín, University of Seville; and Professor Dr. Salbador Pena, University of Malaga were the speakers at the session, and Dr. Mohamed Zahiri, Arabic and Islamic Studies Department at Universidad Complutense de Madrid moderated the symposium.
In the UAE, ‘Andalusia: History and Civilization’ Initiative will hold a variety of artistic and cultural activities, including an exhibition of Andalusian art collections at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre in Abu Dhabi, Andalusian musical events, and a cultural symposium scheduled for February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.