Culture in brief [Archives:2006/1002/Culture]

November 27 2006

National Islam Awareness

Week in London Nov. 20-26

London's Royal Geographic Society hosted the Nov. 20 launch of the 13th Islam Awareness Week under the 2006 theme: One World – The Myth of the Clash.

On the same day, 20 prominent world leaders submitted the Alliance of Civilizations report to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Istanbul. The report dismissed the notion that a clash of civilizations is inevitable, but noted that swift action is needed, arguing that the need to build bridges never has been greater.

One key contributor to the report, John Esposito, professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University in the United States, flew in from Istanbul to deliver the launch's keynote speech entitled, “The Myth of the Clash, exploring humanity's common thread that binds people together.

“Our message is that the things we have in common are much more significant than our differences, whether those differences are real or in our minds. Talk of a great clash is the talk of mongers, but we mustn't stand still and just watch either,” says Julie Siddiqi, the national coordinator of Islam Awareness Week.

“The time is right now, so that's why we're taking our message as far and wide as we can to more towns and people than ever and to every MP in the country. The clash is imaginary, but our one world isn't. We have to come together and own the concerns and problems in our world,” she added.

Islam Awareness Week witnessed a range of local activities across Britain, highlighting the many values bringing us together: truth, justice and equality, as well as freedom, dignity and respect.

A commissioned exhibition promoting the “One World” message was displayed at events and schools. Popular Canadian Muslim folksinger Daoud Wharnsby also gave a special performance at the launch.

The role of research in expanding Yemeni transcription

SANA'A, Nov. 21 ) Al-Afif Cultural Foundation recently held a lecture entitled, “Academic research and its role in expanding Yemeni transcription.”

Speaker Amat Al-Malik Al-Thur, assistant history professor at Sana'a University's Faculty of Art, mentioned the major role researchers have in bringing forth entire contents of transcription from real events, characters and numerous social affairs, but such transforming must be based on objectivity, validity and accuracy.

Al-Thur explained the role of transcription as drawing a map of Yemeni political, social and economical life. Such a map can be a historical resource for new researchers to study all aspects of economic, political, social, cultural and intellectual fields. Further, it plays a significant role in terms of discovering and protecting Yemen's heritage.