AJMAN // An ambitious plan to develop and strengthen all aspects of Emirati art, culture and national identity has been launched.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, outlined his vision to support the country's artists, writers and intellectuals by integrating them into the cultural development of the UAE.
Speaking at the ministry's Development Centre in Ajman, Sheikh Nahyan said: "Our leaders have already charted us a good and strong path equipped with peace and security.
"It's now our role as the think tanks of this country to chart a path of cultural development and integration with other cultures that are so prevalent in our developing country."
Sheikh Nahyan said intellectuals and artists helped to establish the concepts of national identity, belonging and loyalty to the homeland through their work.
He said the ministry was now in the initial stages of launching an ambitious cultural project.
"This plan has a lot of segments including the celebrations of national identity, making of annual cultural festivals, establishment of public libraries with literary works on Emirati culture and heritage and establishing several cultural institutes and academies," Sheikh Nahyan said.
He urged the artists, intellectuals, and writers present at the meeting to direct their works towards the community and the world, with a focus on children, youth and women.
In addition, he requested women be given a chance to contribute, so "the daughters of the UAE are able to prove themselves in the fields of culture and arts".
Theatre artist Ahmad Al Jassimi, who attended the meeting, said Sheikh Nahyan's vision was essential to any developing country.
"No country can claim to develop while neglecting its culture and heritage," he said. "Theatrical drama is among the main parts of Emirati culture and one that would benefit well from the minister's vision."
Dr Mohammed Yousef said he was grateful to Sheikh Nahyan for involving artists like himself in the formulation of his vision and not simply telling them what is, or is not, going to happen.
"Through this involvement the ministry can benefit from the wide experience of most artists in their own fields, indicating what is possible and what is not."