A number of academics, thinkers, artists and poets, participating in the Green Tent, affirmed that Doha deserves to be the capital of Islamic culture due to its great efforts in activating the role of the cultural scene, the help it provides to communities in need and its interventions to enhance security and achieve peace in all corners of the globe.
Participants in Green Tent symposium of the A Flower Each Spring programme, which was held under the title ‘Doha, The Capital of Islamic Culture (Our Culture is Light)’, talked about the role of Qatar in serving and spreading Islamic culture and the importance of reviving cultural glories and highlighting human values of Islamic civilisation as well as the impact of Islamic civilisation on the scientific renaissance in the world, the promotion of dialogue between cultures and the spread of values of coexistence and understanding among people.
The head of A Flower Each Spring programme Dr Saif bin Ali al-Hajri said that the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) has set up the Islamic Culture Capital programme in 2005 to be awarded annually to three Islamic cities, by selecting one city for each of the Islamic regions, adding that Doha in Qatar for the Arab world, Banjul in The Gambia for Africa, Islamabad in Pakistan for Asia were chosen in 2021.
Dr al-Hajri stressed that the Doha programme as the capital of Islamic culture aims to spread Islamic culture, highlight the cultural contents and human values of Islamic civilisation, enhance dialogue between cultures and civilisations, and spread the values of coexistence and understanding.
He said that Qatar’s interest in culture began from its inception by encouraging scholars, writers and intellectuals, holding seminars and conferences, investing in public and university education, taking care of universities, schools and museums, establishing cultural arenas, cultural village, salons, forums and public, private and community cultural centres, in addition to its cultural contributions at the regional and international levels.
Dr al-Hajri pointed out that Doha is preparing to hold more than 500 activities this year, under the slogan ‘Our Culture is Light’, in an effort to encourage creativity and innovation, promote Islamic cultural heritage, Islamic values based on science and human dignity, and focus on cultural diversity as an added value for Islamic countries and culture as well as introducing the cultural experience of Qatar and its efforts to promote Islamic culture.
Omani poet Hashmia Moosawi spoke of Doha’s merit to be the capital of Islamic culture due to its efforts to promote cultural diversity and activate the role of the cultural scene by supporting and organising events for all residents on its lands, noting that culture in Qatar is not the theoretical literature of a civilisation, but rather a reality lived and a way of thinking and behaviour practised in daily life.
She affirmed Qatar’s constant endeavour to spread Islamic culture by extending a helping hand to needy societies outside its borders, and its endeavour to spread peace and security, defuse war, reform the conflict and settle disputes in various countries of the world, in addition, to its local and regional human, social and cultural contributions and the efforts of its research, cultural and scientific institutions.
Senior Adviser at the Palestinian embassy in Doha Dr Yehia Zakaria El Agha praised the activities carried out by Qatar, especially those related to Doha as the capital of Islamic culture, as they are based on the development of human thought, building personality and advancing society and the nation, indicating that such activities need distinction in thinking and diversity in the cultural movement.
He pointed out that Doha has a great challenge to show the realistic image of Doha with its high value scientific and intellectual oasis that is based on building people through its pioneering cultural centres and world-class museums and its role in spreading art, thought, inspiration, the Cultural Village Foundation – Katara, Scientific Club, the quality universities and scientific laboratories, in addition to its innovations that enhance the Arab Islamic identity and its role in building the Qatari personality.
For his part, Dr Nabil Darwish from Qatar talked about the difference and diversity among human beings and how Islam established the relationship between Islamic civilisation and other civilisations through the ages, noting that Islam builds its civilisation on a set of foundations for which continuity and survival were written.
Dr Nabil specified these foundations in that Islamic civilisation is the property of mankind and not a monopoly of Muslims alone, adding that its goal is to achieve human happiness and recognition of religious pluralism and the right to difference and diversity based on acquaintance, harmony, coexistence and the exchange of benefits and knowledge. He said that Islamic civilisation endorsed the principle of civilisational advancement that ends in building the universe and achieving benefits, not a clash of civilisations and the survival of the fittest, and it also have a belief in meeting, interaction and co-existence among civilisations, not to monopolise or exploit the cultural achievement, and recognise human rights and organise the relationship between Muslims and others based on peaceful coexistence, freedom of belief and opinion, and recognition of the rights of minorities and sects.
In the same context, a number of speakers, poets, academics and artists praised the wide steps taken by Qatar in organising scientific, cultural and tourism events and youth activities and laying out strategies developed and applied by scientific and cultural institutions, stressing the state’s efforts to promote cultural diversity and its intermingling and interest in cultural programmes through universities and centres, research, many activities, and awards in children’s literature, dramatic writing, and others. They expressed the hope that the Arab countries would return to be a beacon of culture and science, and that their cities would contain the best and most prestigious scientific centres in the world as they were in previous periods.
They focused on Qatar’s major and fundamental role as well as its contributions to serving and spreading the Islamic culture, through the activities and events that the country presents, which reverberate in various countries for significant periods of time, stressing that the culture in Qatar is a lifestyle and reality lived by the whole society, with all its different ethnic affiliations.
The participants in the Green tent highlighted the importance of reviving cultural glories, principles and values that affirm Islamic civilisational prosperity, and empowering youth with their civilisation, by including them in academic curricula, field trips to cultural sites, organising awareness campaigns, and organising conferences and forums that promote local culture, noting that every Arab and Islamic country has rich cultural heritage which is worthy of being spread and well-known.
The participants also talked about the role of Arab scholars in the renaissance of the Western world, pointing out that the Arab region is the root of ancient religions and civilisations, and that Arab scholars have excelled in chemistry, physics, medicine and various sciences, and have great contributions in agricultural, environmental and animal sciences.
A number of the artist and poet participants of the symposium contributed a collection of poems on the occasion of selecting Doha as the capital of Islamic culture, in addition to other patriotic poems, highlighting the people’s efforts in its renaissance, introducing its cities and great sites and emphasising the role of poets in promoting their country’s greatness through their poems as well as their participation in reviving the Arab heritage, keeping pace with its significant events and documenting them for future generations.
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