HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari, Minister of State and president of Qatar National Library ( QNL), participated in the opening of the first Al-Diwan Arabic Book Fair, organised by the Arab Cultural House in Berlin. He also signed copies of the German translation of his book Jusoor la Aswar (Bridges, Not Barriers).
Dr al-Kawari delivered the opening address in which he underscored QNL’s contributions to enriching the literary, intellectual, and cultural landscape in Qatar and the Arab world. He also highlighted its role as a manifestation of Qatar's cultural diplomacy, describing it as a prominent facet of the nation's soft power.
Dr al-Kawari said: "Like many countries worldwide, Qatar believes that cultural diplomacy is the true bridge for interactions among peoples. Culture, in its diverse forms, serves as a driving force for progress and is a fundamental element in shaping the identity of nations and societies, alongside its significant impact on international relations. The role of culture in a nation's soft power, alongside other diplomatic tools, cannot be underestimated."
"Qatar's soft power has manifested itself in sporting events hosted by the country, most notably the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, esteemed cultural institutions such as the Museum of Islamic Art, the National Museum of Qatar, and Qatar National Library have enhanced this soft power through their international outreach," he added.
Addressing the close relationship between QNL and the Arab Cultural House, "Al-Diwan," he expressed QNL’s readiness to provide Al-Diwan with access to books, references, and digital connectivity. This initiative aims to transform the Cultural House into a knowledge source, enabling researchers and students to access QNL’s rich heritage collection.
Dr al-Kawari commended the Arab Cultural House for building bridges of communication and dialogue between the Arab and European worlds. He affirmed Qatar's visionary commitment to establishing this ambitious cultural project, positioning Al-Diwan as a rapid and vibrant hub that fosters mutual cultural exchange between the East and West, further integrating it with other Arab cultural centres in Europe and European cultural institutions in the Arab world.
HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani, Qatar's ambassador to Germany, also delivered a speech alongside other distinguished dignitaries.
In addition to these proceedings, a special session unveiled the German translation of Dr al-Kawari’s book, Jusoor la Aswar. Veit D Hopf, representing the publisher LIT Verlag, and Ewald Kunsch, who facilitated the discussion, offered their insights, adding depth to the session.
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