French honour for Admaf founder
Abu Dhabi, June 1, 2010
Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (Admaf), has been honoured with the French 'Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters' award for her 'relentless work on all cultural fronts.'
French Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterand, presented the award in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, patron and president of Admaf and Alain Azouaou, Ambassador of France to the UAE at a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Presenting the award, Mitterand described Kanoo 'as an excellent citizen of the world of culture who was rooted in the land and its cultures.'
'For Kanoo, who was born in a multicultural country, Lebanon, to a Saudi father and a Syrian mother; and married to a Bahraini businessman, cultural diversity was more than just a wish; it was a part of her life,' he remarked.
Kanoo had pursued part of her studies in France at the Department of French Literature in the American University, Paris which helped her to develop close ties with French language and culture.
In 2008 she had organized a number of initiatives during the 'Francophone Week,' with the invitation of Abdou Diouf, including an exhibition about the life and work of the great poet Leopold Sedar Senghor, Mitterand said.
'At a time when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the independence of Francophone African countries, this participation in a Francophone initiative is dear to our hearts,' he added.
The French Minister stressed that Kanoo has relentlessly worked on all cultural fronts: from the administrative committee of the French Association to the union of UAE Writers, Abu Dhabi Authority for Cultural and Heritage as well as the First World Forum on Music organized by Unesco.
Lauding the role of Admaf and its annual Festival, which has become a leading international arts event, he said 'Kanoo’s efforts in helping to set the stage for an environment of sustainable cultural development in which the Louvre Abu Dhabi will flourish.'
An excited Kanoo said she was accepting the award on behalf of Admaf and added that it was a recognition that gives strength to all those who are committed to building bridges of cultural understanding between nations.
'This award gives hope to all those dedicated to sharing our values and visions, beliefs and traditions and celebrating cultural diversity with the rest of the world,' she added.-TradeArabia News Service