As part of the official visit of the President of Ukraine and the First Lady to the United Arab Emirates, Olena Zelenska met with Minister of Culture and Youth Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi. The parties discussed cooperation in the field of culture and ideas for its deepening.
Significant intensification of cultural cooperation between the artistic communities of both countries began with the signing of the Agreement on cooperation in the field of culture between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the United Arab Emirates in 2017. In particular, Ukrainian art was presented at the largest and most visited festivals in the UAE, namely the Emirate of Sharjah Cultural Heritage Festival and the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival.
The initiatives to deepen cooperation between the two countries, which were put forward today by the First Lady of Ukraine, are the following:
- holding weeks of Ukrainian cinematography in the UAE;
- establishment of the Days of Ukrainian Folk Art and Traditional Ukrainian Cuisine with master classes in folk crafts and culinary skills, Easter painting, wreath weaving, shows of national costumes and jewelry, etc;
- organization of separate programs of Ukrainian art within the UAE art festivals, in particular with concert programs from national groups.
"All these activities can be combined into a separate project. For example, the Days of Friendship between our countries. They can and should be bilateral and held both in Ukraine and in the UAE," Olena Zelenska noted.
For her part, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi supported the idea of Friendship Days and noted that it is a strong bridge for cultural cooperation. In addition, the Minister of Culture and Youth of the United Arab Emirates noted the great interest in the Ukrainian experience of holding the Book Arsenal and other large-scale cultural events at the Mystetskyi Arsenal.
Olena Zelenska called the introduction of Ukrainian-language audio guides in UAE museums another important project for Ukraine.
"Currently, the Ukrainian embassy is actively working to introduce Ukrainian-language audio guides in UAE museums. At the same time, the epidemic situation in the world is making adjustments, but I am sure that after the lifting of quarantine restrictions, our citizens will be able to listen to tours of the Grand Mosque, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Qasr Al Hosn in Ukrainian," the First Lady said.
Expo 2020 is among the forthcoming large-scale events in the UAE, in which Ukraine plans to take part. It will include a number of artistic and cultural events. The domestic pavilion is planned to show the uniqueness and originality of the Ukrainian people and culture through the prism of modern technologies and innovative approaches to life, interaction with the outside world.