(MENAFN- Gulf Times)
* Dignitaries attend launch of Flag Plaza
* Community Days Festival open until October 15
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, accompanied by HE the Minister of Sports and Youth Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali and HE the Minister of Culture Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Thani Tuesday attended the inauguration of Flag Plaza, a new community space initiated by the Years of Culture programme, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The annual Years of Culture programme is an international cultural exchange that deepens understanding between nations and their people first unveiled when Qatar won the bid to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The ceremony was attended by HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums (QM), along with ambassadors of more than 100 nations.
The Qatar Armed Forces Band Regiment, a musical unit of the national Armed Forces, performed at the inauguration ceremony, which was followed by the raising of 119 flags representing nations with diplomatic missions accredited by the State, as well the European flag, the United Nations flag and the Gulf Co-operation Council flag.
Flag Plaza, located near the Museum of Islamic Art Park, will serve as a community gathering space and a location for festivals, celebrations and other events for the people of Qatar. The first of these events, open from October 5-15, is the Community Days Festival.
Many embassies are taking part in the festival to celebrate the many cultures and people who call Qatar home. Each embassy will present a different programme of events, ranging from stage performances to exhibit panels with information on different countries.
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said,“The Flag Plaza is an expansive symbol of the diverse community we welcome in Qatar and the rich connections made through cross-cultural interaction. Its meaning is beautifully embodied in Najla al-Zein's stonework creation, which will be a permanent reminder of our global interconnectedness. I invite the people of Qatar and all who visit to make use of this new space, coming together in celebration of our common humanity.”
Aisha Ghanem al-Attiya, director of Cultural Diplomacy, Qatar Museums, added:“The Years of Culture initiative seeks to foster connections between people whenever possible. We believe that culture is one of the most effective tools to bring people closer together, encourage dialogue, and deepen understanding between nations. Flag Plaza will be one such physical location – where different cultures are celebrated, and people come together to make new connections.”
El Zein's 'Us, Her, Him' is a site-specific installation composed of a series of sculptural benches comprising more than 313m of hand-sculpted limestone. The installation is an abstract reflection on human interactions, which conveys the complexity and fundamental importance of human connections. Illustrating various modes and strata of interaction such as acquaintances, friendships, love, introversion, confidence, familiarity, fluidity and obstruction,
'Us, Her, Him' reminds visitors that interconnectedness is the driving force of individual fulfilment. The sculptures, which are functional and interactive, are meant to bring women, men and children together while leading the way into the Flag Plaza,' QM said in a statement.
El Zein said,“'Us, Her, Him' is an installation that reflects on human interaction and connection. It is composed of a series of sculptural benches spanning over 313m of hand-sculpted limestone, sited all around the Flag Plaza. This is a place of unification, and working in a public space brought a new layer of meaning to my practice. The sculptures, which are intended as functional seating, illustrate various modes of interaction: acquaintance, friendship, love, introversion, confidence, familiarity, fluidity and obstruction.
'While each piece has its own individuality, they come together as a collective. I hope that my work will be a meaning part of this new public space, celebrating the commonality and connections that exist between individuals of all ages and backgrounds.'
For information on what's happening at Flag Plaza during the Community Days Festival, one check out the Years of Culture website at yearsofculture.qa and Instagram @yearsofculture
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