To mark 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan on 6th May, H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and UAE Minister of Presidential Affairs, has launched the second edition of the ‘Al Ydar’ initiative.
As part of the project, female students from the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University in Dubai are set to create a 140-metre long mural, which will be displayed for a year on the outer wall of Dubai Ladies Club. The mural will be displayed from 6th August 2018, which coincides with the anniversary of the late Sheikh Zayed’s Accession Day.
The mural will artistically depict the late Sheikh Zayed’s values, including wisdom, respect, sustainability and human development. Combining Arabic and English letters in a motif, the designs are inspired by the traditional Sadu patterns that represent the UAE’s diverse society. The artwork also celebrates the country’s urban development through illustrations of historic and modern landmarks in the UAE.
Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed said the second edition of the ‘Al Ydar’ initiative celebrates the late Sheikh Zayed and his devoted efforts to establishing the United Arab Emirates and ensuring its prosperity. It also celebrates the late Sheikh Zayed’s local and international achievements, particularly in terms of investing in the youth, as well as his values and passion for progress.
H.H. highlighted that the late Sheikh Zayed is a source of inspiration for young talent to produce and present creative works of art.
"The launch of the project comes in line with our commitment to encourage creativity amongst the youth, by providing a platform for the new generation to express themselves and their ideas. It is also an opportunity for UAE citizens and residents to learn about the Founding Father’s journey and the UAE’s achievements. This will be communicated through a large-scale piece of art, which will be displayed for a full year on the outer wall of Dubai Ladies Club, to serve as a form of open museum for the public and art enthusiasts of all age groups," she added.
H.H. extended her gratitude to Zayed University for their cooperation in implementing the initiative, and to the students from the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises’ for their participation.
Al Maha Al Bastaki, Director of The Cultural Office of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: "This year’s ‘Al Ydar’ project is a special edition, which celebrates the life of the late Sheikh Zayed and the ‘Year of Zayed’ by highlighting the values instilled in the Emirati people by our Founding Father, through a remarkable artwork."
Al Maha Al Bastaki highlighted that the project reflects Sheikha Manal’s continuous efforts to support young artists in the UAE through various art and cultural initiatives implemented by The Cultural Office. These initiatives have demonstrated that art can be expressed through a wide range of artistic mediums that contribute to a thriving local art scene. The ‘Al Ydar’ project was launched by Sheikha Manal and The Cultural Office in 2013 to provide a platform for young talent to explore their creativity, and to build on the UAE’s position as a leading country in supporting art and culture.
Al Maha Al Bastaki emphasised the importance of artistic murals in beautifying cities and expressing cultures through stories, which will be narrated by the creations of the participating female students. She said: "Through this project, The Cultural Office of Sheikha Manal provides an opportunity for students to showcase their skills and creativity through artwork. This year’s edition, which will mark the ‘Year of Zayed’, is unique and will inspire many artists in the future."
"We are very pleased to be collaborating with Zayed University, and would like to thank them for hosting a summer course for students to implement this cultural initiative. The project will be factored into their credit hours, which accentuates its significance in their overall college educational programme,'' she said.