Sharjah Ruler inaugurates ATI’s headquarters in Al Hira

May 27, 2024 / 12:06 AM
Sharjah24: On Sunday, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and the Ruler of Sharjah as well as the Honorary President of the Arab Theater Institute, officially opened the institute’s main office located in Al Hira.
Upon his coming, His Highness not just revealed the commemorative plaque declaring the launch of the headquarters but also cordially welcomed the significant number of theatre artists from various Arab nations, conveying his happiness at their being in Sharjah and offering them congratulations on the inauguration of the Authority’s headquarters.
His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah, gave a speech during the event, expressing his appreciation for the theatre and its community. He also announced the allocation of a financial contribution to support the Authority’s work and emphasized the significance of theatre as a fundamental element of culture in advancing and enriching society. His Highness reiterated his commitment to continue supporting the theatre and its community across all Arab nations until the theatre is restored to its former glory.
In his address, the Ruler of Sharjah discussed his lifelong passion for theatre, which stemmed from his early years and his close association with renowned playwrights and writers. When the theatre began to decline, his commitment to its revival became evident. Consequently, he took the initiative to establish, write for, and direct the Arab theatre, aiming to restore its former vibrancy and talent. His foremost support was directed towards the Arab Theater Institute and the various festivals across the Arab world, alongside those in Sharjah. Additionally, he pledged financial assistance for the activities and productions of the Arab Theater Authority to ensure their uninterrupted continuation. “We are raising our children to appreciate theatre. Theatre is an important part of our society's cultural and intellectual life, and it needs financial support to thrive,” His Highness said.
His Highness emphasized the vital role of management in running a theatre. He stressed the importance of having people with theatre experience and knowledge in charge of managing the theatre and its activities. This is because they have the necessary understanding and expertise to meet the specific needs of theatrical work. His Highness said: " We say that theatre is doing great, and we not only encourage young people and writers to get involved in theatre, but we also urge them to write freely and frequently. Writing is a form of cultural expression, and when writers put their culture on paper, whether they go out in the guise of a play or not. That's why we have set up a library for them to explore and find inspiration for their writing."
His Highness conveyed a fatherly message to all theatre employees, advising them to avoid anything that tarnishes the reputation of those involved in theatre, such as social customs that lead to exclusion. He urged theatre professionals to collaborate and support one another.
His Highness spoke about the Sharjah Academy for Performing Arts, whose administrative staff was carefully selected, pointing out that it was established for all talented youth in the Arab world, not just Sharjah, as it has great potential and the movement and activity it has as a permanent beehive. It works to graduate qualified and academically distinguished young people who are proficient in their specialisations in the performing arts. Their numbers will increase every year, and they are considered an asset to all countries of the Arab world.
When it comes to helping theatres in Arab countries, His Highness emphasized that the festivals organized by the ATI have brought new life to theatre and strengthened the relationships among Arab playwrights. The focus is on providing the most help to struggling theatres in order to bring them back to their former glory. Theatre is seen as a meaningful art form that reflects the issues of society.
His Highness concluded his speech by asking theatre people to continue learning. His Highness said: “We hope that the members of the theatre community will pay attention to reading as they are integral to the cultural landscape, and that they will always continue their learning because learning does not stop, and we hope to elevate theatre and restore its significance, as it serves as a tool for societal elevation.”
Afterwards, His Highness took a tour of the Institute's main offices, which consist of two neighbouring buildings. These buildings are traditional heritage houses that were reconstructed as part of the restoration of the old town of Al Hira. During the tour, His Highness received an overview of its various facilities, including administrative and specialized technical departments, the library, publishing, training and qualification departments, the school theatre, the digital library, and the Arab Center for Documentation and Theater Studies.
The headquarters was built in the traditional Emirati architectural style, incorporating all modern amenities and facilities. The design features intricate wood carvings and plaster decorations, which are characteristic of the region's traditional architecture. The building and its surroundings were also equipped with various services and infrastructure to facilitate visitors' movement to the Institute.
Ismail Abdullah, Secretary General of the Arab Theater Institute, delivered a speech expressing the joy of the theatre community at the opening of the institute’s headquarters. He expressed gratitude for His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah's continuous support and efforts in nurturing and advancing the theater and its practitioners. Abdullah highlighted that the new headquarters would serve as a source of inspiration for all Arab theatre artists, motivating them to progress further.
The Secretary-General emphasized that backing Arab theatre entails greater accountability for the theatre's purpose and the endeavours of the playwrights. This comes as the ATI strives to enhance theatre in all Arab cities and raise the standard of every Arab theatre.
For their part, Arab artists from various Arab countries saluted His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and expressed their happiness and pride in the unlimited support of His Highness, and the opening of the Authority’s headquarters to be an open house for Arab playwrights.

The headquarters' opening ceremony was attended, alongside His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, by Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Owais, Head of the Department of Culture; Dr. Salah Butti Al Muhairi, Head of the Initiatives Implementation Authority “Mubadara”; Mohammed Obaid Al Zaabi, Head of the Ceremonies and Hospitality Department; and a large number of theatre people from various Arab countries.
May 27, 2024 / 12:06 AM

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