Symposium on dialogue among cultures and civilizations winds upSana’a proclaimed as Arab Cultural Capital 2004 [Archives:2004/711/Front Page]

February 12 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
Sana'a was proclaimed as the Arab Cultural Capital last Tuesday with fireworks in the city's skies in the night of last Tuesday, which is the same day Sana'a was officially announced by Abdulqader ba Jammal during the a symposium organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the Yemeni Center for Studies and Research, on Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations.
The symposium emphasized on the need for dialogue to achieve peace and stability in the world.
Prime Minister Abdulqader ba Jammal demanded in his speech during the inaugural session that the developed world support the poor countries so as to be able to go ahead with their massive reforms and overcome their own problems.
He also indicated that the symposium was the first event to celebrate the proclamation of Sana'a as the Arab cultural capital.
On his part, the Iranian ambassador said in his speech delivered on his behalf by Mr. Ahmad Bilali that “dialogue is not a luxury of cultural engagement.”
He emphasized the need for dialogue to utilize hidden capacities of different cultures and civilizations.
On his part, Mr. Ahmad Sayyad, Assistant Director-General of the Sector of External Relations and Cooperation of UNESCO, called Arab countries to start dialogue with their own people first before starting the same with nations, considering change as an internal desperate need so that the citizens in the region would hold on to their rights.
He demanded that the dialogue in Arab countries start with a special focus on the issues of human rights, women's rights, democracy, freedoms and rights minorities in a way to test their capacity in starting dialogue with others. “We should not focus the dialogue on the past or history but on how to develop and improve the situation of the people in the future, dismissing violence, oppression, war and tyranny,” he said.
The Japanese ambassador, Yuichi ISHII, said in his speech that the event comes in response to the UN resolution putting 2001 as the “UN Year for Dialogues among Civilizations”. He emphasized that such dialogue is essential for achieving peace and stability of the world as dialogue would overcome differences among nations, religions and cultures.
He declared that Japan is planning to hold a conference of “Trans-Regional Dialogue between Japan and the Arab world on Cultural Diversity and Modernization” in collaboration with the UNESCO and Arab countries including Yemen.
The event would take place in Paris in May this year and will be attended even by some prominent figures from Europe.
The participants in the Sana'a event from different Arab and foreign countries debated several important issues such as globalization, dialogue among cultures and civilizations, the contribution of education into these themes, the impact of Arabic culture and its accomplishments on other cultures, the role of dialogue on curbing terrorism in all its forms and establishing lasting and universal peace, and dialogue between the East and West-yesterday, today and tomorrow.