Meridian International Center and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates Launch Major Cultural Diplomacy Initiative in Washington, DC

May 24, 2014

Media Contacts: Monique McSween | Phone: (202) 939-5882


UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba and Ambassador Stuart Holliday Unveil New Exhibition Featuring Contemporary Art from the Emirates

WHAT: Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates - The first major touring exhibition of Emirati artwork – which features over 50 paintings, photographs, sculptures, video installations, and other media by 25 Emirati artists – will showcase the creativity radiating throughout the Emirati art scene and highlight the development and history of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).The overarching theme highlights the balance between the UAE’s rapid development while maintaining its ties to its heritage and past and honoring traditional values. The exhibition features core elements of Emirati life and represents all seven emirates while emphasizing the importance of kinship and home, nature and landscape, as well as technology and innovation to Emirati culture.
WHY: Meridian International Center has partnered with the UAE Embassy to share the UAE’s compelling narrative and rich cultural heritage through a groundbreaking cultural diplomacy art initiative with Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates. Cultural diplomacy is a powerful tool for finding common ground, building lasting relationships, and fostering respect. Past Forward will provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer exchanges of ideas, information, and experiential learning, as well as a framework for Americans and Emiratis to better understand one another through first-hand insight into life and culture in the UAE through these works of art. The exhibition will travel across the United States over the next 18 months, including stops in Texas, California, and Washington.
WHO: His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US
The Honorable Stuart Holliday, President and CEO, Meridian International Center
Zeinab Al Hashemi, Featured Emirati Artist
Maitha Al Mehairbi, Featured Emirati Artist
Abdul Qader Al Rais, Featured Emirati Artist
Khalid Mezaina, Featured Emirati Artist
WHEN: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 Images and updates from the event will be shared on social media with the hashtag #PastForward.
MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information, or to RSVP, please contact:
Tara Chandra
(202) 295-8796
Tara.chandra@harbourgrp.comMonique McSween
(202) 939-5882


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