Director-General marks centenary of Ebrahim Al-Arrayed

On 23 June 2008, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura joined Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, President of the Board of the Sheikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research, and Dr Hashim Hasan Albash, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to France and its Permanent Delegate to UNESCO to inaugurate an exhibition at UNESCO Headquarters about the life and works of the Bahrain poet, Ebrahim Al-Arrayed.

Madam Soraya Al-Arrayed, the late poet’s daughter was also present.

Noting that “UNESCO is always pleased to celebrate the anniversaries of eminent personalities in the Organization’s fields of competence”, the Director-General said that “they contribute to our work to promote mutual understanding among different peoples, and also provide an excellent opportunity to spotlight the cultural diversity that UNESCO endeavours to safeguard through its worldwide activities and standard-setting action.”

In paying tribute to Ebrahim Al-Arrayed, Bahrain’s most popular twentieth-century poet, Mr Matsuura said that “Al-Arrayed embodied the multiculturalism that has characterized Bahrain in the course of its long and rich history. Through his own writing in Arabic and his numerous translations of literary works in the other languages he mastered, Al-Arrayed contributed significantly to the dissemination of knowledge and enhancement of intercultural dialogue throughout the region.”

“It is fitting that the centenary of this distinguished polyglot coincides with the International Year of Languages, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly to promote linguistic diversity and multilingualism. Named lead agency for the International Year, UNESCO believes that languages are both essential to human identity and important factors towards social progress and sustainable development”, he continued.

Recalling that the writer’s former home had been transformed into the Ebrahim Al-Arrayed Poetry House in 2006, the Director-General observed that “it has become a vibrant cultural centre and a striking symbol of the Kingdom’s innovative and forward-looking cultural policies. UNESCO looks forward to pursuing its fruitful collaboration with the Bahrain authorities in all its fields of competence, as part of our collective efforts to create a sustainable world for this and future generations,” he concluded.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 080-2008
  • 24-06-2008
Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific