Moroccan author Jelloun felicitated
Dubai, January 12, 2008
Moroccan author Tahar Ben Jelloun was one of the six international artists felicitated for their roles in mentoring promising young talents from around the world as part of the 2006-2007 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.
The initiative pairs established masters with young, undiscovered artists for a year of collaboration in the fields of dance, film, literature, music, theatre and visual arts.
The arts initiative is the only corporate philanthropic programme of its kind and recently gathered its third group of mentors and protégés in New York City.
The internationally-acclaimed author had spent the past year mentoring novelist Edem Awumey, 32, from Togo as part of the programme.
A winner of the Prix Goncourt and the International Impac Dublin Literary Award, Jelloun, 62, draws upon his experiences in his native Morocco and as an immigrant in France to create powerful and controversial novels, poems, plays, essays and articles.
Describing his work with Edem, Jelloun said, “What interests me is not to be a corrector or to be a teacher, but to be someone who accompanies a writer as he writes.”
Rolex CEO Patrick Heiniger said the company launched its mentoring programme in 2002 to fill a void in arts patronage. “Our philanthropic activities reflect the values of our company which, for 100 years, has been dedicated to excellence.'
The highest standards of craftsmanship, a commitment to perfection and great attention to detail are all principles that we cherish. The benefits of this initiative will ripple out into protégés’ work and into the artistic community at large with the passage of time.”
In the first cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in 2002-2003, Jordanian architect and painter Sahel Al-Hiyari was selected as the Visual Arts Protégé.
Rolex’s philanthropic activities in the Gulf, the Levant and North Africa also include the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, which support individuals working to improve human knowledge and well-being.
This 31-year-old programme will hold its 2008 global awards ceremony in Dubai under the patronage of Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The Rolex Awards for Enterprise aim to foster a spirit of enterprise by recognising outstanding efforts in five broad areas: science and medicine, technology and innovation, exploration and discovery, the environment, and cultural heritage.
Presented every two years, the awards provide financial assistance to people embarking on innovative, new ventures or pursuing ongoing projects.-TradeArabia News Service