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Baghdad Arab Capital of Culture for 2013

Baghdad Arab Capital of Culture for 2013

Iraqi Culture Ministry announced, on Thursday, having achieved major steps in investment and infrastructure for the “Baghdad Arab Capital of Culture 2013” event stressing that the upcoming stage will witness the launching of different artistic events.

“Najaf has its own circumstances and so does Baghdad,” Culture Ministry representative Taher Al Hamoud said in a statement, which Alsumarianews received a copy of, in response to Iraqiya List spokesman Maysoon Al Damluji who called to dissolve Culture Ministry. “We know just what we want from Baghdad the Arab Capital of Culture,” he added.

“We undertook important measures in the investment sector and finished infrastructure construction for cultural and artistic events,” Hamoud explained.

Iraqi cabinet resolved, on May 2 2012, upon postponing Al Najaf Arab Capital for Islamic Culture for the year 2020 and transferring about 40 billion dinars from this occasion budget to Baghdad Arab Capital of Culture for 2013.

In 2011, UNESCO nominated Baghdad as Arab Capital of Culture for 2013 while the Culture Ministry announced, in February 2013, the contest results indicating that it was a the model of a teacher in Art school in Baghdad University that won the contest.


Iraqis Prepare to Honour Baghdad As 2013 Capital of Arab Culture

Baghdad, 04 January 2013 ( Al Shorfa )
By Khalid Al-taie

The Iraqi Ministry of Culture plans to organise a series of activities and festivals this year marking Baghdad as the 2013 Capital of Arab Culture, officials told Mawtani.

Ministry undersecretary Fawzi al-Atroushi said the planned celebrations include a number of cultural activities throughout the year, including folklore festivals and exhibits for Iraqi art and rare manuscripts.

Other institutions like governmental and civil society groups and unions will also participate alongside the ministry in sponsoring weekly and monthly events, which include symposiums, conferences, and literary, intellectual and art functions that represent Iraq's various cultures, he added.

Scheduled ministry programmes also involve showing documentaries and long and short feature films, as well as theatrical performances on Iraqi life complete with traditions, customs and rituals, al-Atroushi said.

As part of the celebrations, the ministry will also organise a series of field trips for visiting delegations to various historical sites and landmarks around Baghdad, such as monuments, statues, squares, old markets and streets, and archaeological and heritage landmarks and sites, he said.

In addition, dignitaries and other guests will receive a number of books and works on Baghdad's history, heritage, landmarks, famous figures and historical contributions to culture, literature and science, al-Atroushi said.

"Plans to build and rehabilitate Baghdad's landmarks are going forward," he told Mawtani. "In collaboration with several supportive agencies, such as Baghdad province, Amanat Baghdad and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, we finished rebuilding several heritage buildings and cultural sites, in addition to building new monuments, statues and tourist compounds."

"Also, there are other projects on their way to completion, such as a project to rehabilitate and maintain the ancient Ziggurat of Aqar Quf, located west of the capital, and others currently under construction, such as the old al-Qushla Clock monument, the Abbasid palace, the Opera House and others," he said.

Crowning Baghdad

With these preparations, the province aims to crown Baghdad as the 2013 Capital of Arab Culture, said Kamel al-Saadi, Baghdad's deputy governor.

Officials will distribute a tourist guide of the capital, as well as copies of 20 different brochures on Baghdad's various civilisations, to event participants, he said, adding that the Baghdad province is "organising plays, cultural meetings and popular carnivals".

Prizes will be awarded to Iraqi intellectuals and pioneers, including youth innovators, he added.

The province will work with diverse groups "to secure a festive atmosphere commensurate with the distinct history of Baghdad", al-Saadi said.

The province also completed a project rehabilitating the Baghdad International Fairground, "considered one of the prominent landmarks of the capital", at a cost of 70 billion dinars ($60 million), he said.

It also built the Baghdad Cultural Centre and restored many heritage and cultural buildings and sites, in addition to organising "permanent exhibits, the last of which displays the personal belongings of the Iraqi royal family during 1921-1958", he added.
Reflecting the capital's grandeur

Ali al-Shallah, chairman of the parliamentary committee on culture and media, said his committee is in constant contact with all concerned parties to ensure the festivities are a success.

"We asked them to ensure that the celebrations will be of an acceptable level that befits the civilisation and grandeur of the city of Baghdad, reflecting its historical depth, existence and role throughout the ages," he said.

"We must showcase the cultural aspect of our capital, and organise these activities within [the city's] heritage and archaeological sites, because Baghdad was -- and still is -- a cultural and intellectual cradle, and it is essential to project its status as a city of exceptional human accomplishments in all life fields," he said.

Al-Shallah told Mawtani he is confident the activities will be a success.

In 2012, the city hosted numerous successful Arab and international conferences, he said.

"We are fully confident that the organisation of this new forum will be successful, and it will have large-scale participation," he said.




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