The regional conference on cultural diversity, organised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Asia Co-operation Dialogue (ACD), began yesterday in Doha.
The conference has gathered participants from different Asian countries under the slogan ‘Culture: Bridges of Dialogue and Understanding’.
The first day of the conference witnessed two panel discussions during which senior officials and specialists in various fields spoke about interactions between cultures and dialogue between civilisations and peoples.
A drama titled Accept the others, produced by the Center for Theater Affairs, was presented by students from Qatar University with the participation of the prominent Qatari actor Salah al-Mulla.
HE the Minister of Culture and Sports, Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, stressed the importance of culture as a bridge for communication, understanding and progress, at a time when the world has become a small global village.
ACD Secretary-General Burnshai Danivathanna urged for promoting the concept of rich cultural diversity in Asia.
The official appreciated the efforts of Qatar in supporting and promotion of intercultural dialogue and highlighting cultural diversity among the peoples of Asia.
Dr Majid al-Ansari, professor of Political Sociology at Qatar University, reviewed several models from Asia on cultural diversity and civilisation.
The first speaker at the first session was Malaysia’s former minister of foreign affairs, Seri Syed Hamid Albar, who pointed out that Malaysia has a multi-cultural heritage and an ancient civilisation.
Kazakhastan’s ambassador to Qatar, Khosro Sahibzadeh, observed that the Asian continent encompasses many different cultures, whether in language, arts, social or aspects of daily life.
The third speaker was Fatima al-Rumaihi, CEO of Doha Film Institute, stressed the importance of films in changing ideas.
The second session discussed cultural diversity in Asian countries and Aisha al-Attiyah, head of Cultural Years at Qatar Museums, spoke about Qatar’s experience in this connection and how it has succeeded in strengthening relations between Qatar and the world.
Dr Aisha al-Darmaki, chairman of the Cultural Club of Oman, said the cultural diversity her country is due to the diversity of the national and resident groups.
Japanese ambassador to Qatar, Seichi Otsuka, stated that his country has been ethnically and culturally diverse for decades, whether through traditions and customs in social rituals or through ethnic or complex multiculturalism.
Fawzia al-Khater, assistant undersecretary for Educational Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, urged the decision-makers in Asian countries to promote the concepts of co-operation, dialogue and openness.
Dr Isa Mohamed al-Ansari, undersecretary of the Culture Sector at the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature in Kuwait, praised Qatar for its efforts in hosting the conference.