The Arab Thought Foundation Launches its Eleventh Annual Arab Report on Cultural Development

“The Arab Thought Foundation” launched its Eleventh Annual Arab Report on Cultural Development, entitled “Palestine in the Mirror of Thought, Culture and Creativity”-in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the Nakba and as a clear indication of its ongoing commitment to support the Palestinian cause- during a special ceremony at the “Kempinski Hotel Al Othman Al-Khobar”.

The launch took place in the presence of HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal, President of the Arab Thought Foundation; and HRH Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman of the Board of Directors; and HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal, Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies; the Board of Trustees and Management; and the authors of the report along with a number of other cultural and academic figures.

The ceremony started with streaming a special video report showing a real sketch of the word “Palestine” written on the walls of one of the Palestinian camps, coupled with a series of interviews with writers who shared their outstanding visions on the cultural, literary, artistic and creative activities in Palestine.

Speaking at the ceremony, HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal said: “Today, I have nothing more important to talk about than Palestine. That’s why I am here. I would like to welcome all of you in this ceremony for launching our annual report that makes Palestine its focal point. What really distinguishes this report is that it is quite larger and even more detailed with a lot of cultural and scientific information. I am confident that all the writers who contributed in writing this report have put a huge amount of their emotional and mental repertoire into it”.

“This report speaks for every Arab who strictly holds onto the Palestinian cause, and it also represents the soft cultural dimension of the Palestinian resistance. Thus, we are in a vital need to let culture and science work side by side with the political and economical action within the Palestinian-Arab efforts to stand against the Israeli aggression. I am confident that the sincere emotions portrayed through this report will touch the hearts of every Arab and will trigger that longing sense of patriotism inside every one of them especially during these days. It will also pave the way for a novel way of thinking within the different intellectual, cultural, economical and political fields”, he added.

“The position of Saudi Arabia towards the Palestinian cause has always been very clear. It is enough to mention the popular statement made by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin AbdulAziz, when he said, ‘Palestine is our central cause’. I hope that this commitment will be deeply rooted in every Arabs’ conscience and that the Palestinian cause will remain the central cause for all Arabs. We are beyond words and speeches at this point. What is really needed is to think differently and work harder in order to win the battle”.

He concluded: ”The battle today is not only restricted within the political and military domains. It also involves other intellectual, cultural and scientific battles upon which the whole future of the Palestinian cause and hope will be built in order to bring Palestine back to its people. Palestine has always been ours and it will always be. Let’s work together hand in hand, based on our intellectual, cultural, political and religious power for our beloved Palestine that is worth every sacrifice”.

For his part, Professor Henri Awit, Director General of the “Arab Thought Foundation”, said: ”I would like to dedicate this annual report to our beloved Palestine which has inspired us in writing this report, and as a tribute to the great achievements of its intellectuals, scientists, writers and artists along with the creativity of its steadfast and mighty people and their rightful cause. The report is not trying to recall the anniversary of Nakba, rather, it tries to evoke the hope of liberation and the return of the Palestinian people to their homeland and the revival of the spark of life in their hearts and the hearts of its ‘children of the stones’ during their intifadas”.

“’The Arab Thought Foundation’ has decided to launch the report for this year on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba of Palestine (1948-2018), not only because it represents our strict intellectual beliefs, but also because it plays a vital role in emphasizing the significant function of culture as a peaceful act of resistance. Furthermore, it reflects the true position of our Foundation against the Israeli occupation and at the same time supporting Palestine and the legitimate rights of its people in their struggle to preserve their identity and protect their heritage and history along with establishing their own state. This report stands firm against all the attempts to falsify Palestinian history. It also strives to correct all distorted narratives along with providing evidence on the pure ethnic origin of the Palestinians, and highlighting the various projects that aim at reviving and preserving Palestinian heritage and Identity”, he added.

Professor Awit stressed the Foundation’s deep commitment toward developing Arab culture and that this new report comes as the culmination of the Foundation’s efforts to shed light in a unique way on the diverse cultural facets of the different cultural movements all over the Arab world. This report is the second in a series of reports which started with the issuance of the ninth report entitled ‘Culture and Cultural Integration in the GCC: Policies, Institutions and Manifestations’ and which will be completed by publishing a new report totally devoted to tackle the different dimensions of cultural life in the Maghreb.

He also discussed the major seven pillars of the report which tackled the Palestinian cause from different intellectual, cultural, literary and artistic points of view, including “Palestine in the Ideals of men of the Arab Renaissance”, “Palestine: Between Philosophy and humanities”, “Palestine: History and Identity”, “Palestine Through the Reflections of Thought, Culture and Creativity”, “Palestine in the Mirrors of Global Culture”, “Language, Education and Science in Palestine” and “The Jerusalem file”. The report also contains an extensive bibliography of the most significant publications in recent years (2014-2018) in both English and French about Palestinian history, cause, cities and the creative contributions of the Palestinian people. Professor Awit also made it clear that this report would not have been possible without the concerted efforts of many figures with the ‘The Arab Thought Foundation’ and the network of intellectuals, experts and specialists whom we have been truly honoured to work with.

The ceremony ended by answering some of the participants’ questions, during which HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal stressed that Palestine has always been and will always be the central cause for all Arabs and that “The Arab Thought Foundation” proposed to the “League of Arab States” the necessity of holding an Arab Summit for Culture. The proposition has been accepted and the time and place are yet to be determined.

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